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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012

Rip-Off Alert

Fake work-at-home offer from Microsoft is a real scam

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By Clark Howard


Work-at-home scams are continually reinventing themselves. The latest one that's supposedly from Microsoft is a perfect example.

The Kansas City Star  reports there's an unsolicited job offer making the rounds that invites you "to become part of the official staff of Microsoft" as a work-from-home financial agent.

The starting salary is $5,000 a month minimum, plus commissions. Your job is to "receive and process" e-payments sent by Microsoft customers.

The money you receive goes into your personal bank account. Then you are to transfer the funds whenever they're needed by the company.

So what exactly is the scam here? Actually, there are a couple of layers.

This is a modified flavor of so many other scams we've seen since unemployment skyrocketed. In the simplest form, you give your account info to crooks and they empty the account of whatever funds are in it.

But because this targets the unemployed, they presumably don't have hefty bank account. So this is a different scam and we don't fully know how it plays out. The likeliest scenario is you'll be asked to wire money and the checks you've deposited will later bounce, leaving you on the hook for the insufficient funds.

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