Work4Troops lures consumers into shipping stolen merchandise

U.S. troopsAfter posting a resume on an online job bank, one Wisconsin consumer received an offer from an alleged Wisconsin-based military support company, Work4Troops, also known as Help4Troops. The organization offered to hire her as a volunteer to package goods for men and women in the armed forces stationed abroad. She was told she would receive $20 per package sent.

But when a man in Chicago called her to say goods purchased with his stolen credit card were being sent to her address, she called the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau to check into the company, said Susan Bach, communications director for the Wisconsin BBB.

Work4Troops lures unsuspecting consumers into aiding shipment of stolen merchandise abroad, Bach said.

The Department of Defense lists organizations that ship goods to military personnel abroad legimately. But Work4Troops is not one of them. "This website is not affiliated, or sanctioned or approved by the Department of Defense," said Bach. "It's not a legitimate charity."

According to Bach, the company's website, behaves like other scam web sites of this genre. "We've had numerous alerts that this particular website is affiliated with other similar web sites," she said. "They're using the same testimonials, the same method of operations [and] the same pictures on their web site."

The BBB found Work4Troops was not located at its listed Spring Green, Wisc. address. Instead the BBB found a local barbershop owner who knew nothing of the company.

When contacted by a charity, the Federal Trade Commission advises to:
  • Seek written information on that charity such as their name, address, phone number and information on their programs.
  • Find out the title of the person contacting you.
  • Check the legitimacy of the organization with National Association of State Charity Officials.
A local BBB can also check into organizations in their area. The BBB warns not to let emotions outweigh practical judgment when dealing with charities.

Bach said, "Its a very common scam. Often times, the people who are shipping and receiving packages are unwittingly involved in shipping stolen goods overseas."
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