Fargo It's a temptation, to say the least: you get a check in the mail for thousands of dollars—but cashing it in could cost you more than you have. One Fargo woman is warning others of an employment scam she almost fell victim to.
Ashley Fisher, who lives in Fargo, is looking for work.
"I have my resume online with Indeed," Fisher said.
So she wasn't too surprised to see a random text inviting her for a job interview.
"$30.75 and work from home...it just seemed too good to be true and I didn't respond to it," she said.
An hour later, a second text came through: different number, same company.
"Said that the company name was Avis Budget Group, Incorporated...with the name out there, it sounded a little bit more legitimate," she said.
Fisher bit the bait, completing an online written interview.
"Never spoke with a person over the phone, in person," she said.
Just 10 minutes after the interview...
“I get a message back, ‘Congratulations, you got the job,’” Fisher said.
That was a Wednesday afternoon....by Friday, Fisher received a check in the mail—for $3,480.
"Inside the envelope,” Fisher said, “there was no letter, no documentation."
The company, Avis Budget Group has headquarters in New Jersey. The check supposedly came from a bank in Florida and was sent from Arizona.
The company wanted her to buy equipment from its vendor. In other words, pay the money the so-called company sent her right back to the company.
Gate City Bank's senior vice president of BSA and fraud, Patty Blozinski, says it's a classic scam.
"You're putting it into your account,” she said, “and that check's gonna get returned. But they've asked you to send that money back to them in gift cards, money orders, or any type of method so they can receive it back. So they already have the funds before the check has bounced."
Blozinski says when in doubt, bring the check to your bank and have them check it for you.
"We can put a hold on the check,” Blozinski said, “or just advise to not use the funds until we have enough knowledge that that check is cleared."
Luckily, Fisher was seeing red flags the whole time and had her friend who works at a local bank check the check. Low and behold, the bank advised Fisher not to deposit it.
We reached out to Avis Budget Group to find out if the company corresponds for jobs via text message, but haven't heard back yet.