Published: Apr 23, 2010 3:31 AM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A woman looking for a job collects more than $10,000 in checks paying her for work she hasn't even done. The catch? Her new employers tell her to send part of that money back.

It's a scam she didn't fall for, but many do.

With so many people looking for jobs right now, just as many are looking to make money off those vulnerable people, but three scammers trying to trick one Fort Myers woman out of thousands, weren't polished enough.

"Most jobs don't send you money in advance."

After looking for work-at-home jobs on-line, Canady Benjamin got three checks in the mail.

"I was supposed to do payroll for another company. They sent the check that was supposed to be to buy the things you need to do their job, but the check is a fraudulent check and of course the job is fraudulent too."

The check is for $2,950. When Benjamin finished buying what she needed, she was supposed to send the company the difference. The scammer would cash in, not Benjamin.

"Nobody is just going to send you $3,000 and you don't write something that says, 'I'm going to do a service to you'."

Then, Benjamin was told she landed a job as a mystery shopper, and was even sent a payroll check before she started work worth $3,935.

"The check itself is not even a real check."

She was supposed to send most of that back to pay fees... and her check would have been real.

"They're preying on people's hopes right now - hope to just get through to the next week or the next month."

Finally, Benjamin got a letter saying she was awarded a home improvement grant worth $22,000. The letter came with a $3,200 check - just enough to pay the necessary taxes and fees to collect the grant.

"All together, it's almost $10,000 worth of checks."

Luckily for Benjamin, she did her research.

"You have to look and research any company. Any company you are considering working for -- go online, contact the BBB, whatever -- to find out that they are a legitimate company."

The companies are legit, but scammers are using their names. Benjamin also tried to contact her so-called employers who sent her the checks, but the phone numbers on the letters they sent don't work.