BALTIMORE — Ronnie Teich is a retired senior with a limited income, so when she received an email from SnagAJob.com with details on a data entry position, she thought it’d help her live more comfortably.
"I was accepted and I was tickled," said Teich.
However, the modest proposition turned into a money pit. With her offer letter, Teich received a check and instructions to send several payments to cover office expenses.
"The check was for $3,845. With the two Zelle payments, and the two Moneygrams, $245 was left in my account, which I was told was for me," said Teich.
Even though the balance appeared in her account before sending the money, she later learned the check hadn’t cleared.
"And I happened to go into my bank about a day or two later, the check came back insufficient funds or whatever, and then I had a negative balance in my account," said Teich.
After contacting her bank, she was told she would not be reimbursed. SnagAJob.com never got back to her, and neither did the scammers.
"The employment offer letter to me I thought was legitimate. I even went online to see that TTEC was a legitimate company," Teich said.
TTEC is well-known for offering work-from-home opportunities, and her offer letter listed the names of executives who work there. All information that's available online.
"Go to a different source and contact that potential employer and say, 'Are you hiring? Did you submit an ad through...? I saw this information, is this legitimate?' Actually talk to them," said Angie Barnett, president and CEO with the Better Business Bureau serving greater Maryland.
Teich wishes she had listened to her gut when the person posing as a hiring manager asked her to send the payments via gift card. She refused, but still went through with the ruse. Now, she’s hoping to help others avoid the same regret.
"I’m just really, really upset about all this," said Teich. "And I’m so happy I don’t have any family or friends because I’m too embarrassed, really, to say that I was a victim."
If you'd like to contribute to Teich's GoFundMe campaign, click here.
Teich is also not alone. So far this year, nearly 7,000 people have reported losing $27.3 million to business and job opportunity-related fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii reached out to TTEC and SnagAJob.com for comment on this story. This story will be updated with their responses.
PNC Bank said they're working separately and directly with Teich on her complaint. A spokesperson wrote in an email:
"PNC regrets that we cannot discuss the details of Ms. Teich’s situation, as we cannot comment on individual and specific complaints. PNC maintains standard processes for identifying potentially suspicious activity. We also thoroughly review and promptly respond to complaints, and we take appropriate action. Our commitment to addressing concerns includes providing information intended to help our customers protect themselves against potential scams. We will cooperate fully with law enforcement personnel on any investigation related to this matter."
If you fall victim to a job scam, report it to the FTC by clicking here.