How the scam works:
There are two variations of this scam:
1. Looking for a job online you find an offer that sounds very interesting – starting your own medical billing service. Simply acting as an agent for a list of clients (which will be provided) who need to send out bills for huge pharmaceutical expenses, you don’t need to be a doctor since the object of the business is billing.
The offer promises not only a long list of medical clients in your own city, but top of the line software to create the bills as well. In addition to the $600-$900 fee that you have to pay for the business start-up, there will also be a fee for the software, perhaps nearing a thousand dollars, which you almost certainly will never be able to use. The scammers just send it to make the process look legal and justify the charge, while getting a refund is almost impossible.
2. The other variation comes as a medical billing processing email offer. After telling you how much money you can make, the “employer” (scammer) asks you to sign a general contract. Upon signing and sending it back, the crook will inform you how you will be paid: they will be sending you a money order/cheque or transferring money to your bank account first and what you will have to do is just keep the commission for your work and send them the rest. The excuse from the scammers for sending you an amount greater than your percentage could be anything including the cheque was generated by your account and it’s easier to process this way.
How to avoid:
When it comes to the first scam, all clinics operate their own billing service or outsource to large companies, not individuals like you. In regards to the second, you should never wire money to an “employer”. Western Union is a great service, but reputable businesses have other systems to pay their employees and never ask you to pay something back. For similar scam examples, look at the Mystery Shopper Scam and Direct Deposit Account Scam, both listed in our Employment category.
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