Early in the pandemic, Krystelle Goodman lost her job as a sales consultant at Zales Jewelers in the Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
School closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 meant her teen daughter ended up learning remotely at home, like other Detroit students. And Goodman decided to try to find a job that allowed her to keep tabs on her daughter and offer help when needed by working from home.
Goodman, 35, scoured online sites like Indeed for potential jobs and didn't find anything. Around June, she received an email out of the blue, supposedly based on her online resume, for what seemed like the perfect work-at-home opportunity.
Job hunters are warned to watch out for promises of high pay for re-shipping goods that arrive at your home. You aren't likely to be paid and you're often helping crooks sell stolen goods on the black market.
She was to receive packages for customers who were somehow in a country that wasn't able to access Amazon to sell their products.
The packages were sent to her home on Detroit's west side.
Her duties: Open the box to confirm the item arrived in good shape and go online to get a shipping label. Then, she was to print that label on her printer and repackage the item in a new box to send elsewhere. Finally, she'd get in the car and haul the package somewhere like a Federal Express office or United Parcel Service to ship.
"Half of the stuff they sent was pretty heavy," Goodman said. Sometimes, her boyfriend would help her handle it.
Some boxes had $50 ice buckets for champagne. Some had parts for Ski-Doo snowmobiles. One involved a snowmobile lift, which she later priced online for around $500.
Many of the items went to an address in Blaine, Minnesota, a suburb north of the Twin Cities.