June 13, 2014
Working as a secret shopper sounds like an easy, fun job. But the position's appeal makes it perfect for scammers. Watch out for con artists creating fake "secret shopper" job ads that trick victims into parting with thousands of dollars.
How the Scam Works:
You apply for a secret shopper job on Craigslist or another site. The business' name is close -- but slightly different -- to that of a large, recognized company. Recently, scammers have been using "The Home Depot Survey."
The "manager" responds to your application and offers you the job. To get started, he/she mails a packet of information, which contains a fake check. This check supposedly covers your $300 payment and contains money to spend on secret shopper purchases.
The instructions tell you to deposit the check and subtract your fee. Then, use the remainder to "evaluate" The Home Depot (or another store) by making a few purchases. When your first assignment is complete, just wire the balance back to the "The Home Depot Survey." Of course, the check is a fake. A few days later, the bank will reject the check and delete the advanced funds from your account.
Spot a job scam before you waste your time and money.
For More Information
Thanks to the Better Business Bureau serving Northeast California for their reporting on this scam. Check out their full article here.
To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.