Earlier in the month the Warrensburg Police Department took to Facebook to alert area residents that two University of Central Missouri students found themselves out thousands of dollars falling victim to what the Warrensburg Police Department called a Virtual Assistiant Scam.

The scam works like this: Both students answered an ad for a virtual assistant position and were sent checks for several thousand dollars to put in their accounts. They were then instructed to send portions of the money to "clients" immediately. The bank later returns the check for insufficient funds, and the scam victims find themselves out the money.

Warrensburg Police, in their Facebook post, say if something doesn't seem right there is a good chance it isn't. In other words, listen to your gut. It's right a lot of the time. Unfortunately, both scam victims felt something wasn't right but went ahead and did what they were asked to do by the scammers.

Warrensburg Police also provided some tips on how you can tell a job might be a scam:

  • High Pay - Learn what people are earning in those positions where you live. If the money you're offered doesn't jibe with that, it might be a scam.
  • Forwarding Payments - The victims were asked to deliver monetary payments in this scam. Paying money to a "client" is easy, so why do they need you as a middleman?
  • Pushing You To Sign A Contract - If someone wants you to work with them without an interview process or getting to know you, something may not be right. That doesn't happen. An even bigger red flag would be a check showing up in your mail with instructions to forward it on without you even having agreed to take the job. Any real job will give you some time to think about whether you want to take it or not.
  • No Job Details - Any job listing should tell you what you're doing, not just list a salary and the benefits.
  • Shady Employer Details - Any job listing should name the company that's looking for an employee. Do a Google search on the company and or the person you're communicating with. Any company worth its salt will have some sort of web, Facebook, or social media presence. Not to mention the person you're communicating with should have a company email, not a Gmail addy.

Finally, as I mentioned before Warrensburg Police's last tip is to trust your gut. If something seems too good to be true it probably is. Not to mention your gut is usually right. At least my gut has been usually right, it's only when I don't listen to it I get into trouble.

You can check out The Warrensburg Police Department's Facebook post on this scam here.

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