KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — In July, Isaac Smith, an Overland Park resident, said he was hired by a third-party shipping company called Stantle, where he was promised $3,300 to repack and ship items for a month.
“I was getting a lot of different items, like laptops and vacuums,” he said.
It was all part of a new job that seemed to have a legitimate website, multiple offices across the country, and a staff of employees who always answered his phone calls.
Everything appeared to be okay until he started asking where his paycheck was.
“I said, ‘Hey, I haven’t received anything yet. Can I have an update?’ and the lines was busy,” he recalled.
Smith is one of 15 people who contacted Problem Solvers in August and September, all of whom say they worked for Stantle but never got paid.
“So, at the beginning, it sounded like a real thing and that’s what it seemed like to other people,” Joanna Udy, a Las Vegas, Nevada resident, said.
According to the United States Postal Service, it appears the 15 individuals who contacted FOX4 are victims of something commonly referred to as the “repackaging scam,” a work-from-home job that promises big money to receive packages, repack and send them, using your name as the sender.
At first, it’s small dollar items, like a showerhead.
Then, bigger items.
“It was like, cell phones and laptops,” Udy said. “I got a Roomba that dropped on the door.”
Udy knew at least some of the items she was mailing were stolen because Stantle messaged her and told her it was shipping three Samsung cell phones to remail, all of which listed her daughter as the owner of the cell phones.
But Udy said her daughter has never been a client of Stantle’s, and doesn’t even own a Samsung phone.
“Her (daughter) identity got hacked on a Friday afternoon and by Tuesday morning, I’m opening my task list and her name is on it with three cell phones that we knew for a fact were stolen, coming to our address,” Udy said.
Udy’s daughter received an alert on her phone from a company she hired to monitor suspicious activity on her credit report. The company alerted her that a Samsung account had been fraudulently set up in her name.
Udy said she immediately called Stantle.
“I sent a very alarmed message to my supervisor saying, ‘I want to talk to the security department at the company because this is fraud,’ and she’s like, ‘Calm down, calm down, tell me what’s going on,’ and I explained it in the chat and she says, ‘Oh, well keep in mind, we’re a third-party intermediary and we can’t control what comes in the mail so we’re gonna close down this person’s account and we’re gonna start an internal investigation and find out what happened with that and then you’ll be updated,’” Udy said.
She never heard another word.
FOX4 Problem Solvers tried to contact Stantle repeatedly, but we never reached a single person. We tried every number we could find, even the ones only employees were given.
We never got a call back.
Problem Solvers looked into the addresses that these products were being shipped to and discovered one was a supposed small shipping company in California called Shiptuk LLC, another tracked to a small international shipping company in Illinois called Shipux LLC, and another was a shipping company called USApostline LLC.
We contacted the companies, but again, all we got was a voicemail. We left messages but never heard back.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the postal service are all aware of the repackaging scam, which operates under multiple names, such as Stantle, Monocan, and Gabsie.
The FTC says it has received 17 complaints regarding Stantle, 14 complaints on Monocan and one complaint related to Gabsie.
For those who fell victim, it’s been a learning lesson.
“They caught me at a very vulnerable time,” Smith said. “I was looking for a new job, wanted to do something a little easier for more money, so they definitely caught me at a very vulnerable time.”
“I just wish I would’ve done more research.”
He said he now knows to listen to his gut feeling and take action when red flags pop up.
“When I went through the website, they had a little section that said, ‘Why Stantle?’ like “Why choose Stantle services?” And it was saying that they’re a third-party shipping company that provides better rates than other companies,” Smith said.
“That was also a red flag cause I’m thinking like, ‘Why would you need to ship it to someone, like an individual, to ship to someone else, and how would that make it, one, cheaper, and two, like why would you need me to do that? Why would you need a middleman to do that?”