Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Job seekers often turn to the Internet as they search. However, scammers are coming up with new ways to steal from you. A local woman found out the hard way that crooks are even posing as representatives of major companies.
Joanne Belle got laid off last month and for the first time in years, she’s looking for a job. A listing on Craigslist caught her eye.
"This beautiful job came up a couple of weeks ago that said Veterinary Reception....the hours I wanted, everything was written perfectly for me. I thought, oh my God, this is the most perfect job. So, I answered it,” Belle said.
Four hours later, Joanne was offered an interview. First, she clicked a link to provide more information about herself.
"I know better, but I was excited because I thought this was really a good job, so I did what they asked and immediately realized that that was not a good idea,” Belle continued.
That night the job listing vanished. But, two days later, Joanne got an unsolicited reply, this time from someone claiming to be a Vice President with ConAgra Foods.
"I knew that was bogus and I called ConAgra and found out it was bogus. I was smarter this time,” Belle said.
And she wasn't alone. A ConAgra representative says someone has been fraudulently posing as a representative of their company on Craigslist and the scam is under investigation.
"Since learning of this issue, we have been aggressively working to stop this activity, including working closely with the FBI to prevent it from happening again,” said the representative.
As investigators track a growing number of online work scams, Belle is a bit savvier in her struggle with modern-day unemployment.
"I think they are preying on people that need jobs and I got caught up in the moment of thinking that was the most perfect job for me,” she said.
As a precaution, Belle canceled on credit account and is monitoring her credit. Like many other companies targeted by scammers, ConAgra stressed that their real job listings are posted on the company website – not on Craigslist.