Hundreds of El Paso job seekers become victims of online scheme
Updated: Thursday, August 15 2013, 10:32 PM MDT
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso Police Department arrested Jose Luz Salcido Jr. on charges of theft over $1,500/under $20,000 after hundreds of victims said he lured them into a false online job opportunity.
The Police Department said Salcido used the alias "David Hernandez" to advertise a supposed customer service business on Craigslist. Many applicants told police they had one interview with a company called "Jaimarie Investments LLC" after contacting a number posted on Craigslist, and all were told they got the job.
Police also said Salcido organized job fairs throughout the past week at the Hilton Garden Inn on Gateway East and the Holiday Inn Express on Gateway West under the Hernandez alias. One victim told KFOX14 people who were told they got the job then attended an orientation session where Salcido asked them to provide personal information. That includes their date of birth, Social Security number and bank-account information.
"The thing that really caught my attention was they had us go and talk to a so-called Aflac agent, and throughout that time, he had us signing paperwork for policies and things like that," Jamal Lesarge said. "I told him that I was not going to leave the office unless I had a copy of everything that I had signed, to protect myself," Lesarge said. Lesarge said he feels fortunate that he did not give any personal account information to Salcido.
El Paso's Better Business Bureau said one of the best ways to avoid becoming a victim of an online scheme is to do background research. "Don't just trust the site and start giving out all your information. It's important that you actually call the company and ask them what the requirements are," Communications Director Margo Monreal said. Upper Rio Grande Workforce Commission Executive Director Lorenzo Reyes also said a company would need to have a TXID number to be legitimate in the state, so prospective employees could ask for that as well.
The Police Department believes Salcido may be involved in additional schemes because people could still believe his alias is legitimate. Police also said if victims have not noticed any suspicious account activity, there is no need to cancel any personal accounts at this point.