Cerner warns about job scam targeting prospective employees

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sixty-year-old Lonnie Reese says two weeks ago a mysterious woman emailed him and said she could land him a job at the top-notch healthcare information technology company in North Kansas City.

"She sounded convincing and she kept telling me she was a recruiter with Cerner Corporation," Reese said. "I was real excited about going to work for a big company like that."

However, before he would even start his new customer service representative and data entry job, Reese said the so-called "recruiter" asked him to go and deposit a cashier's check of more than $4,500 into his account and then deposit at least $4,300 into an account she set up.

The woman claimed she needed the money to "buy computer-related equipment" Reese needed to do his new job.

"Yes, I believed her and I sent her the more than $4,300 because she told me she was a recruiter at Cerner and that right after she got the money, she'd buy the equipment and have it sent to my home in Lee's Summit on Tuesday," said Lonnie.

However, when the computer didn't arrive and Lonnie didn't get the job, the Lee's Summit man went to Cerner and talked to the company's human resources director.

"He came right out and met me and told me that I was the victim of a nationwide, online job scam. He said they were working with the FBI to try to find the people behind it and bring them to justice," Reese told Fox 4's Robert Townsend during an interview at his home on Tuesday.

"I was furious. It was horrible and now I'm out of all my money. Hopefully my bank can recover. I've learned a tough lesson now to always be more careful while doing anything on line, especially job hunting," added Reese.

"People must always verify any job they see posted on any company's website," said Bridget Patton, a spokesperson for Kansas City division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"No company is ever going to ask you to send them money in order to gain employment. We see all kinds of scams out there. People must be smart and protect their personal information and wallets," said Pattton.

"You just never think it's gonna happen to you, " said Lonnie Reese, who's hoping his bank can recover the money he lost.

Cerner, as well as local and federal authorities are investigating the scam. For more resources to identify and report scams, click on this link.