Officials have discovered a new scam that Americans all over the country have been falling for. It’s similar to the one known as “secret shoppers”, but this time it’s “secret surveyors”.
We in the 21st century should be able to see through all the scams right? You’d think. There’s always a new way to scam someone.
What the scammer does is hires you for a ‘job’ or ‘gig’ that’ll earn you several hundred by the time you’re done. In several cases, people receive ‘priority’ envelopes with large checks inside. One woman, Kim Cordero, said her parents received an envelope, and “the envelope was addressed from Smart Shopper in Santa Clarita, California, and showed that the sender paid $6.65 in postage,” according to Pix 11.
The idea behind the scam is that you deposit the cashier’s check, which goes into the account right away, and then buy $100 gift cards with the money, sending the details of those cards to the scammer’s website.
In a few days, the bank calls and says the check bounced/was a fake, which means the gift cards will be charged to your account. Or the account will be in the negatives.
AmericaNow has more:
The idea behind the scam is to deposit the check into your bank account, then take $2,000 of the funds and purchase 20 iTunes gift cards valued at $100 each. The money is supposed to appear in a victim’s bank account immediately, as law dictates that cashier’s checks be deposited quickly.
The instructions dictate that once the cards are purchased, you are supposed to take pictures of the front and back of all of them and then fill out a form with information about where the cards were purchased. Then, send an email including photos of the cards and a scan of the completed form to the email provided [email protected].
The extra $400 left over is supposedly the reward for doing the survey work for the company, but Cordero’s mother, Irma, said she was skeptical about its legitimacy.
The skepticism, it turns out, was entirely warranted. The address listed on the envelope does not exist, nor does the company that supposedly sent the survey. In fact, an actual company called Smart Shopper has received complaints from across the country about the scam.
The most important aspect of the scam is the check. Though the bank on the check is real, the check itself is fake. Once the bank becomes aware of a counterfeit check being deposited, the money spent on the gift cards is taken from the victim as the check is invalid.
Many readers expressed shock and anger over the scam, with some even recalling their own experiences.