FOX43 Finds Out: Looking for a job? Don’t fall for this scam

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SHREWSBURY, York County --  Tom Coulson of Shrewsbury, York County has been looking for a job for about 10 months.

So, when he got an email from a company interested in his resume, he was intrigued.

"There wasn't a whole lot of detail in the first email that came across, so I said what the heck? I'll see what they're up to," said Coulson.

The email was from Diana Oneil who claimed to be from Carpenter and Company, an antique automobile parts and supply company out of Winston Salem, North Carolina.

She claimed she saw Coulson's resume on and was considering him for a operations manager position.

Coulson says it seemed legitimate.

"It wasn't misspelled and horribly put together in terms of the emails they sent me."

The Shrewsbury man than decided to do his own research.

He went to the company's website, which didn't have a lot of information.

It did explain what the company does, terms, warranties and a contact page.

Then, Coulson got another email.

This time, "Diana" asked for an authorization for a background check, an employment agreement and some other paperwork that all seemed to be real.

"Including an i9, which if you're familiar with an I-9, it basically gives away everything you have."

But it was one line of the email that Coulson thought was odd, it reads "We can discuss start dates based on your availability, but we`d be excited to have you start as soon as possible."

"It wasn't unusual that they contacted me, what was unusual was that they hired me without a face to face interview."

Coulson then decided he wanted to talk to someone, not just send an email.

He tried to give the company a call with the phone number on the website.

"It was a street address with a phone number, which you call the phone number and basically they give you a recorded message that they're not available, they'll call you back."

We tried too and was sent to voicemail every time.

When Coulson never got a call back, he had to trust his gut.

He looked the company up on the Better Business Bureau and found what he thought was alarming.

"They were using a legitimate business that had gone belly up and a legitimate street address which they didn't occupy to convince people to send them their information."

The BBB confirmed that, saying Carpenter and Company was a business three years ago and has since closed.

That's when Coulson realized it was all scam and he was disgusted.

"I'm done with you. Hope you go to jail, have a nice day," said Coulson.

Even though he did his research, Coulson feels bad for the people who may have fallen for the scam and sent back their I-9 form with all their personal information.

"I can see where somebody, especially who is close to going broke or getting their job kind of yanked out from under them or house foreclosed on would fall for this."

He says it's a low blow to try to steal from the unemployed, but he also thinks it pretty gutsy the crooks tried to scam from people like him: middle-aged professionals.

"These people were targeting colleges degree, professional management level people."

He says it's a reminder that anyone can be duped.

"Track the numbers, track the addresses, make sure they have a website and if the website is very limited, you know there's a problem."

If you think you may have put your personal information in the wrong hands and are at risk of identity theft here's what the Federal Trade Commission suggests you do:

First, place an initial fraud alert.

Then order your credit reports so you can review them.

Also, make sure you create an identity theft report

You can also check out a more detailed information of what you should do on the FTC website. 

It's unclear how many people actually sent back a filled out I-9 form to the scammers, but we did see a few people comment on the BBB website saying they were impacted.

We contacted because that's the website the scammers said they use to find Coulson's information.

We wanted to know what the website does to prevent scams like this when people are publicly posting their resumes, but our calls and emails were never returned.