Scam targets potentially vulnerable job-seekers

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Maria Bostic was just looking for some extra income. She turned to the website to find a job.

Bostic was happy when she found what appeared to be good paying work. The job was to transport pilots from Tampa International Airport and it offered $18 an hour. Bostic filled out an application.

“They contacted me saying that I had got the job, so I was happy,” she told News Channel 8.

A person she believed to be a recruiter contacted her with more information. “He emailed me again, saying he’s going to get me a BMW, a 2016 and he’s going to get him a luxury apartment,” Bostic said.

He also sent her what appeared to be a cashier’s check for $2,860 dollars. “He said that he was going to send me a check for me to get the car and me to get the apartment, so I said this is a scheme so I’m going to call channel 8,” Bostic said.

She did not cash the check. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detective Tim White says it’s a good thing she didn’t.

“They would then tell her to send the money someplace else, and the actual money that came out of her account normally goes to the bad guy and that’s actual money that comes from her account,” White said. says the site is committed to preventing scammers.

“We’re committed to preventing scammers from misusing our site and to providing assistance to job-seekers who believe they have been scammed. We have recently upgraded our proprietary scammer detection software to better identify these accounts. We also evaluate each job-seeker complaint and respond within 48 hours. In most cases, this results in us shutting down the non-compliant accounts,” Scott Garner with said.

The web site also has a number of suggestions to avoid problems like this. Help protect yourself against scammers on job boards with these tips:

  • Report suspicious emails
  • Check with your bank to make sure a check is legitimate before you attempt to cash it
  • Be wary of anyone requesting you transfer funds to a different account or writing a check on your account and sending it to them
  • If you discover that a check is fraudulent, file a report with your local police department.

Detective White says if it looks to be good to be true, it probably is.

“A common thing that we see is that they are normally very aggressive with the people that they are speaking with. ‘We want you to cash it right now. We want you to do it right now,’ and they are very insistent. They’ll contact you multiple times to ask you if you’ve complied with their demands,” White said.

The detective praised Bostic for not cashing the check and realizing it wasn’t legitimate.

Bostic is disappointed she didn’t land the high-paying part-time job. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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