Reps for direct sales companies like Avon, Thirty-One Gifts and Mary Kay are finding themselves the targets of a new take on the classic check scam. Scammers pose as new customers and try to con consultants out of hundreds of dollars.
How the Scam Works:
You are a consultant for a direct sales company, and you receive an email or text message from a potential customer. The exact details of the situation vary. The "new customer" may simply request to purchase a few products, but some scammers provide an elaborate back story. In one recent version, the scammer alleges to be working on a movie filmed nearby and urgently needs makeup for the actors.
The request seems like an easy sale, so you prepare the products and receipt. Then, your new "customer" sends you an urgent message. There was some mix up, and she/he accidentally sent a check for far more money than the purchase amount. The customer suggests that you fix the mistake by depositing the check, keeping the money for the purchase and wiring the remainder to someone else.
The stories given vary. Sometimes you are asked to wire money to a "doctor." Other times, you are supposedly sending cash to the daughter's wedding planner. No matter the tale, a few things are for sure. The check is a fake, and, if you withdraw money against it, you are out those funds.
Tips to Avoid Fake Check Scams:
Whether you are a professional direct sales consultant or simply selling a few items on Craigslist, check scams are common cons. Here are some tips:
To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.
NOTE: Avon and Mary Kay are BBB Accredited Businesses.