Being a mystery shopper is fun and a great way to make some extra cash. However as much as we do as an industry to thwart criminals from taking advantage of shoppers, scams have been stealing money from unsuspecting victims for years. We have posted about this before, but we want to be sure you know what a scam might look like and give you a few pointers to help you avoid becoming a victim.
Here’s the typical scam we are seeing recently.
You receive a check in the mail or an email stating they will be receiving one upon reply. These messages often look like they are coming from legitimate companies, like Goodwin Hospitality. The amount might be large sum – from $500 to $2500 is what we’ve seen. You are then requested to deposit the check, and wire a portion of the money to a third party (under the guise of ‘part of the assignment’). The balance of the money is your fee. Sounds great, right? Until your bank figures out the check is fake and comes to you to not only pay back the amount, but possibly charge you for cashing a fraudulent check. Now you’re not only out of money, but might have legal troubles to boot.
Here are a few tips to help identify scams quickly and avoid being a victim.