(KXNET) — The McLean County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about “work from home” ads posted to social media that are actually scams.

Many of the ads appear to come from friends or a friends list or via hacked Messenger accounts telling you of a great way to make a lot of money at home.

The scams ask you to purchase Visa cards or gift cards in various amounts. The scammers say they will cover the purchase costs of the cards by depositing the amount in your checking account. They’ll also deposit extra money payable to you for buying the cards.

Once you buy the cards, you’re asked to send images of the front and back of each card, so they can see the card numbers and PIN numbers. In some cases, they’ll ask you to message the numbers or call with the numbers.

In any case, once the scammers have the numbers, any money they put in your account vanishes, along with any other funds. You’re left liable for the cost of the cards. In addition, they have personal and bank information to use to steal your identity.

If you’ve fallen for this type of scam, contact local law enforcement right away or the Consumer Fraud Division at the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office.

Legitimate work from home opportunities will not require access to your personal financial information or require you to purchase Visa or gift cards.

“Never give out your personal information or bank information to anyone online,” emphasizes McLean County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chad Wiege.

If you’re not sure about an online work offer, contact authorities to see if it is a scam.