Wanna Be a Secret Shopper? It Could Be a Scam!
There are so many possible scams these days, it's hard to trust anyone! But, surely, you can trust someone offering you a job...right? Well, in this case not only is the answer "no", but it could cost you money. Be on the look out for "Scam Jobs"
Sounds like a fun job. You get money from a store or chain of stores and you go out and shop( with THEIR money, then fill out a report on the experience and you get paid. Back in my checkered past, I actually did that for a chain of stores. It was fun ! If you've ever wanted to get back at a surly employee, this is the way to do it! For the record, just about every place I shopped, things were great!
People are recruited in a variety of ways, but real secret shopper jobs are very rarely given to people sight unseen.
You might even get a check in the mail along with the offer. The problems start when you actually deposit that check!
Carmen Million of the Lake Charles Better Business says, "It looks legitimate. You can bring it to the bank and the bank will deposit it," Million said.
Your instructions are to keep part of the money and send the rest back to them...Ah! Your scammed. Turns out the check or money order is no good. Now you owe the bank money AND you owe the scam artist.
"What they're doing to make it seem like it's legitimate is, they're sending you a check. It could be $2500 and they're asking you to send $2000. So it looks like you're not sending money from your account, you're sending money that they sent to you," Million said. "But when the check comes back bogus you find out that they actually are receiving your money because you have to pay the bank back.
There are real secret shoppers, but million says they don't operate this way.
"They go through research firms that actually specialize in this and they won't hire just any person off the street to do their secret shopping," Million said.
There are other check scams offering government grants or claiming that you've won a prize or lottery. A big red flag is if they ask for money up front.
"You can get a grant to start a small business. You can also get a grant to help you purchase your first home," Million said. "But you have to go through the government agencies and they don't' necessarily advertise. And they never ask for money up front. A grant is something free and you shouldn't have to pay for it."
The old adage about "If it's too good to be true, it isn't"...is so true!
There are so many scams and they're not all on the internet. Some may come in the mailbox. The crooks, if they get caught, will then be facing federal charges! First, they've got to get caught!