North Dakota attorney general warns of scam risks during pandemic

North Dakota attorney general warns of scam risks during pandemic

Scammers are taking advantage of the unemployment crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic to create phony websites that offer fake work from home opportunities, according to information from North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

One recently reported scam website uses a downtown Bismarck street address. The company -- Nimcare Insurance -- doesn’t exist in Bismarck or anywhere else in North Dakota, Stenehjem said.

The work-from-home scam lures a victim through a spam email or online ad. After completing an application, the victim is offered a fake quality control or inventory inspection job. They are actually being used to receive and ship stolen merchandise and may unwittingly become an accomplice to a crime, Stenehjem said.

Other common work-from-home scams include the “mystery shopper” and the “car wrap” scams, where the victim receives a check along with instructions on what to do with the check to complete the transaction. The checks will bounce and the victim will be out the money and may be on the hook for paying the bank back for the fake check.

“Never assume a business website and business address you are unfamiliar with are legitimate or you could become the next scam victim and lose your money,” Stenehjem said.

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