Employment firm's name stolen to lure job seekers into scam

Scammers have stolen the identity of a national employment firm and are using it to trap consumers with a money-laundering scheme that claims to be a mystery-shopping job.

The St. Louis Better Business Bureau reports the identity of Oklahoma-based Express Employment Services is being used to draw consumers into cashing forwarded checks. Consumer Ally first wrote about mystery shopper scams in April.

Express Employment Services, which has offices in every state except Vermont, told the BBB they do not hire anyone for mystery shopping positions. People in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia have reported receiving upfront checks appearing to be signed by the Columbia, Mo., office. The checks came with a solicitation sporting the Express Employment Services corporate logo and the real address of the Columbia office.

The BBB first learned of the scam from a woman in Georgia who received a fraudulent check for $3,975 along with a letter which told her to keep $200 for mystery shopping and to wire the remainder through Western Union back to the company. Express Employment Services offices in Massachusetts and California also have been compromised in the scheme,according to tbe BBB.

The BBB advises to be weary of any mystery shopper solicitation from Express Employment Services and to avoid any job that entails cashing checks and sending money on to a third party.