Scam of the Week: Holiday secret shopper spoof

Published: Dec. 9, 2019 at 5:57 PM CST
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Check your mailbox. There might be a paycheck inside a priority mail envelope. It's pitched as an easy way to make fast cash this time of the year.

"They took it upon themselves to spend $7.25 to send this to me. So that makes you think this is legit," said Benjamin Ramos.

Ramos was told he was hired.

"They're giving me money yet I have to send something in exchange," he said.

It's a $2,400 paycheck. Ramos is instructed to buy $2,000 in Walmart and VISA gift cards. Then send photos of the numbers on those cards and give feedback about his shopping experience.

"Excuse me, but it pisses me off how they do that. They get people that are wanting money especially this time of the year, Christmas time," he said.

Ramos got a bogus check. It doesn't even come from the company listed on this letter nor the address on the envelope.

"It's going to bounce. That's going to mess up your credit but they're going to get away because they got the Walmart cards you sent them. They come out winning you come out losing," Ramos said.

Remember, you typically don't get paid before doing work.

There are real secret shopper programs. Make sure the company is a member of the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association. You have to seek them out and apply. They don't send out random checks in the mail.

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