By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The work sounds promising: earn a quick buck by reshipping products delivered to your home, but police are sending a warning before more people fall victim to a global crime spree.

Eagan Police Department spokesperson Officer Aaron Machtemes says at least five people have come forward so far, signing up for what they consider the perfect summer job: earning extra cash reshipping products from the comfort of their own home.

“The people we talked to feel scammed and feel like they definitely wasted a lot of time. They’re expecting this money that never comes,” Officer Machtemes said.

Turns out they’re tied to a much larger scheme: scammers first buy credit card numbers on the dark web, then use them to order pricey electronics or other high-end items. They’ll send those packages to the people who have signed up to reship them.

Often, the products will make a few stops in the United States before finally being sent out.

“They just want to get the most expensive product out of this country and into wherever they’re wanting to sell it,” Machtemes said.

Police consider it a high-tech twist on money laundering, creating a parcel mule and a tangled web in the process.

“It’s near impossible to track,” Machtemes said.

In one Eagan case, a man reshipped more than 40 items over the last couple of months, only calling police after he never got paid.

“They’re just unknowingly taking part in it,” Machtemes said.

By then, the once legit-looking website was gone and so was the seemingly-perfect summer job.

“Bottom line, you’re not going to make money by reshipping people’s product,” Machtemes said.

The Better Business Bureau warns people to always be cautious of work-at-home jobs. Most surface when students and young adults are looking for easy work in the summer.

Things of which job-seekers should be aware:

  • too good to be true pay
  • no interview or interviews that are very brief
  • the employer has you front most/all of the costs
  • the employer overpays you and asks you to wire back the difference
  • an “employer” finds you and offers the job – as opposed as you reaching out to them

BBB also encourages folks who were scammed or feel they could have been scammed, to report it on Scam Tracker.

Liz Collin