El Paso, Texas (KDBC) — The El Paso Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit is investigating allegations of a Craigslist employment scam.
The scheme entailed advertising employment positions as representatives to sell small business credit services. Police say, upon an interested applicant contacting the number posted on Craigslist they were directed to a rent-by-day office for a short interview which ended in the applicant being hired. The applicant was then contacted to provide personal information for payroll to include: name, date of birth, social security number, and bank account information.
EPPD said their detectives met with an individual that held himself out to the detectives and the Craigslist applicants as “David Hernandez” however investigators determined that Hernandez’s true name is Jose Luz Salcido Jr. Police said Salcido organized these “job fairs” over the course of the last week at the Hilton Garden hotel, 6650 Gateway East and the Holiday Inn Express, 11825 Gateway West.
Detectives are asking anyone who may have attended these job fairs or has information related to Salcido, David Hernandez and/or Jaimarie Investments LLC to contact the El Paso Police Department at (915) 564-7130.
Investigators are also following up on the possibility that Salcido may be involved in additional scams to fraudulently obtain cash funds from victims who believed his alias, David Hernandez was a legitimate business person.
Salcido was booked on Theft Over $1,500 Under $20,000 with a $5,000 bond. The investigation continues into additional charges.
Margo Monreal is with the Better Business Bureau of El Paso. She says Salcido's operation was believable because he used the name of a legitimate business for his scam. Monreal says there are several things you can do to protect yourself. First, look for jobs on more secure websites, and do your homework. The BBB also has launched a new investigations department that you can turn to for help.
Newschannel 9 spoke with Jorge Ochoa. He was hired by Salcido and worked for the fake company for more than two weeks, and only learned his job wasn't real when police walked in one day and arrested his boss. Salcido is now facing theft charges
"We were angry. Some people wanted to hit him," he said.
Ochoa says the scam was believable because Salcido offered insurance benefits. It's a scam that fooled hundreds, and one that victims like Jorge now back on the hunt for another job.
Police are also still looking for more victims. You can call Crime Stopperes at 566-Tips if you were scammed. If you were scammed, the BBB also recommends contacting your credit bureaus so they can put a fraud alert on your credit.