Dandridge job seeker targeted by Craigslist job ad scam

Dandridge job seeker targeted by Craigslist job ad scam

Posted:
"I was so excited that I called my mom," Stephanie Simms said after receiving the email. "I was so excited that I called my mom," Stephanie Simms said after receiving the email.
Simms said she has a list of 30 different openings she's acquired from Craigslist and has applied to every one of the positions. Simms said she has a list of 30 different openings she's acquired from Craigslist and has applied to every one of the positions.
"It could be easy for identity fraud, identity theft. With your social security number, name and address, they could get a whole new ID, checks made out, the whole ball of wax," said Jerry Tipton of the Better Business Bureau. "It could be easy for identity fraud, identity theft. With your social security number, name and address, they could get a whole new ID, checks made out, the whole ball of wax," said Jerry Tipton of the Better Business Bureau.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

DANDRIDGE (WATE) - With unemployment hovering around eight percent, lots of people are looking for work and that provides an opportunity for con men to go phishing for victims to scam.

For Stephanie Simms of Dandridge, unemployment became even more of a trial.

Out of work for three months, it's been difficult to find a new job.

On her computer, she has a list of 30 different openings she's acquired from Craigslist and has applied to every one of the positions.         

Simms, who is trained a medical assistant, has had two callbacks and two interviews, but no offers.

Then she received an email earlier in November telling her she was one of three finalists for a position.

"I was so excited that I called my mom," she said. "I was overjoyed that I might finally have a job."

The letter asked Simms for more information about herself.

"I responded to him that I was a wife and mother, a very hard worker," she said.

The man who sent the email was Bruce Zailo. He told Simms she was being considered for a part-time job, but would have access to a company car and a credit card.

"Then that's when the hook came. He decided then he needed more information about my credit history," Simms said.

The email provided a link to creditreport.com, where she was directed to fill out the information and then send it immediately to Zailo.

He even stated in the email that he wasn't worried whether Zailo had good or bad credit, because he started out with bad credit.

He told her he just needed to know that he wasn't hiring someone who takes advantage of the company car and company credit card.

"It's the worst thing you can do," said Jerry Tipton of the Better Business Bureau.

Tipton said if Simms had sent off the credit report information, she would have been vulnerable to identity theft.

"It could be easy for identity fraud, identity theft. With your social security number, name and address, they could get a whole new ID, checks made out, the whole ball of wax," he said.

This isn't the first time someone in our area has fallen prey to a Craigslist scam.

In September, 6 On Your Side reported how a Knoxville woman lost $500 after she put a deposit down on a home that wasn't for rent.

Simms lost neither money nor had her identity stolen, but admitted she came close because she has been so desperate for work.

As for the con artist's Craigslist ad, it's been flagged and is no longer on the website.

But the name Bruce Zailo appears on several other websites that warn readers of his scam.

Cheating people who are looking for a job is profitable for crooks, which means job seekers have to be increasingly vigilant.


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.