Fort Myers business owner warns of job scam using his company’s name

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

Many people would love to make money working from home. Many did during the COVID-19 pandemic and some employers plan to keep their employees working from home. Fraudsters know many job seekers are looking for available remote positions. They post fake work-from-home job listings online hoping to catch your attention and you in a job scam. One Fort Myers man said schemers used his company’s name to try and get potential candidate’s personal and financial information.

Ryan Staller, owner of NetOne360

Ryan Staller spends a lot of his time in front of the computer. He owns NetOne360, a digital marketing agency that helps other businesses develop and design their websites and social media. Staller recently doubled as an amateur investigator.

Screenshot of Staller’s agency’s website

“I don’t like people representing my company and then trying to get money out of them,” Staller said.

A couple of weeks ago, he started to see emails from job seekers filling his spam folder and inbox, all asking about a remote web designer position.

“After doing more research, I figured out that somebody had posted or bought a domain using a different extension,” Staller discovered.

He owns the domain name for his agency’s website, Staller believes someone else bought They are almost exactly the same except “.us” does not exist. The email address associated with the site do. Staller found out fraudsters used his company’s name to find people on career and job websites who were looking for remote web designer positions.

“I wanted to see if I could find out who the person was,” added Staller.

So he went through the interview process himself.

“I just wanted to see how far I could take it and I took it maybe 15 minutes. Then I stopped him,” Staller described. “I told him who who I was and said ‘why are you doing this?’ and he immediately blocked me.”

Staller learned the con artist would interview the candidate over the phone, offer them the job, then ask for personal bank information so they could send the new hire money to buy all the supplies they needed.

“There were a few people, two people specifically, that I know were take out $2,000 because they gave their personal information,” Staller said.

Amy Nofziger with AARP’s Fraud Prevention Network warns these are the classic signs of a job scam.

“Anyone promising you a job for money, anyone asking for you to deposit a check into your bank account and then send them money, anyone asking you to send money by a peer-to-peer app or prepaid gift card…those are definitely signs of a scam,” Nofziger said. “Take a deep breath and do your research. Take the name of the company that is wanting to interview with you, put it in a search engine and type the words ‘review’ ‘complaint’ ‘scam,’ anything after it to try to find out if anyone has had any experience with this company prior. Then just make sure to look for those red flags.”

Screenshot of the warning posted on Staller’s website

Staller reported everything that happened to his company to multiple agencies like the FBI and FCC. Now his website has a banner and page with an alert so that you can protect your money, information and identity.

Staller said ever since he put that notice on his website, he hasn’t gotten any more emails or calls from job hopefuls.

If you think you are a victim of a job scam, contact your bank immediately and then file a police report. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network can also help you if you think you’re a victim of any scam. Their helpline phone number is (877) 908-3360.

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