A couple weeks ago, I received a virtual voice text from someone asking if I was still looking for a part-time position. The number was 669-225-2596 and her name was Laura. “She” asked me to send my resume to JamieHarvard24@gmail.com
I asked her what it was for and she said Mystery Shopping. I did fill out an inquiry for a part-time job for that to make an extra up to $200/wk. So, I sent my resume in.
I received an email from Jamie Harvard stating that my first assignment would be to go to a Walmart and purchase some items, rate the cashier using their metrics and then, the second part of the assignment would be to go to Moneygram and to wire the remaining change, estimated to be $1,200.
Sounds good enough, but here’s the problem… No one sends you a check for $1,600 without collecting your social security information and with Mystery shopping, there is going to be an associated website.
I was extremely concerned because most of the victims to these scams end up being teens, out of work and desperate for money, and/or seniors. The people who perpetrate these scams don’t even care enough about you to realize that. When you confront them, they turn the tables, calling you the scammer and that they will report you to the FBI, etc. etc. It’s best not to engage with them, but I wanted to have the conversation long enough to find out what was all involved and how heartless these people are…
I told them that I was behind on rent, they said, “take another $50”. I told them that Walmart was a 2 hour bus ride for me and I’d have to travel across town to get there, they said “take $50” for the cab and gas. This was another red flag and was also how deep you could find yourself in the rabbit hole by following through on the actions that they requested. If I were to have cashed the check for $1,600 and wired them $1,200, spent the $300 as requested, kept the $100 as payment, I would have been not only $1,600 plus fees indebted to my bank, but I would have spent $300 I didn’t have to spend to conduct this part of the transaction so that they didn’t look like a scam.
I would have not only owed my bank money, I would have most likely suffered never being able to open a bank account again!
PLEASE NOTE: Walmart & Money gram do not utilize secret shopping services that would require you to wire money, send money, give back change, etc. in any case. Please spread the word to your young friends and the seniors in your life.
Have you been contacted by this Scam or others like it? Tell us on Twitter @Stretchrecipes #DontBeJan and also, comment below so that others can also be protected too! To learn more about scams circling around, visit http://scamawareness.org