Houston area woman loses thousands after answering job ad

If you're looking for a job, a Houston area woman has a warning for you.

HOUSTON - If you're looking for a job, a Houston area woman has a warning for you.

Shannon Thames told KHOU 11 News she was scammed out of thousands of dollars from someone pretending to be a real company.

"To get the hit that, 'Hey somebody wants to interview me. Great, this is awesome,'” said Thames, who has been out of work since June 1.

She posted her résumé on sites like Indeed, Monster and Glassdoor.

"They want to do an online interview through Google Hangout," she said. "OK, this is new, but it's the technology of the day."

After the online interview, she was offered a job at AXA Insurance, a company she knew.

"I know this company my mom has the insurance,” Thames said.

However, quickly she realized something wasn’t right.

“When my bank called me on a Tuesday morning and said, 'We have some bad news,'” she said.

Thames was mailed two checks, one around $2,500 and the other close to $4,000 to cover the cost of setting up a home office.

"This one is from Laredo, Texas, and this one is from Chicago, Illinois," Thames said.

When she deposited the first check and sent a MoneyGram out to the third party vendor, it bounced.

"My stomach just dropped,” she said.

Then, Thames called the actual company.

"They said I was the fifth person within one week that had turned in a fraud case,” she said.

Now, Thames says she's out $3,000. She still hasn't found a job, and she's worried about who might be next.

"Especially in Houston, with the oil and gas companies...with all of the layoffs there, it trickles down to all the other companies, too," Thames said. "It just is a matter of time before people are taken advantage of."

Right now in Houston, there are more unemployed people this year than there were last. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, compared to last year’s 4.6 percent.

Missouri City Police confirm Thames has filed a report with their agency. Thames says she’s also reaching out to the F.B.I. In the meantime, she’s turning to GoFundMe to help her pay bills. 

We reached out to AXA Insurance but have not heard back.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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