Whether you’re s0meone that needs more money or a college student looking for a part-time gig this holiday season, there are many people that want to take as many job opportunities as they can around the holidays. Therefore, it could be tempting when an email lands in your inbox, stating an irresistible job opportunity with good pay that no one can pass up. All you need to do is go shopping and report your experience to get money and the item you purchased that day for free. While there are legit secret shopper jobs out there, scammers know about how this job is popular with many. This is why it is important to know how the holiday secret shopper scam works and how to avoid it.
How Does the Holiday Secret Shopper Scam Work?
Scammers send phishing emails to their victims, advertising the job opportunity to as many people as they can. Once the victim gets the email, they become impressed by what the job has to offer and click on the link to apply. The link directs them to a form where they can fill out their personal information as well as their financial information so that the scammer can “pay” them.
In reality, the scammer is going to steal this information so that they can commit identity theft and drain their victims’ bank accounts.
There’s also another scam that is involved around the holiday secret shopper scam that involves fake checks. Basically, scammers will send fake checks to their victims and ask them to use that money to purchase items for themselves and keep the rest.
However, the scammer sends more than they claimed they were going to send “by mistake” and asks for that money back. The victims give the scammer the amount of money requested the keep the rest for themselves. A few weeks later, the bank calls asking for their money back since the check was fake. Now, the victims are responsible for the money that they have withdrawn from the bank.
How to Avoid the Holiday Secret Shopper Scam
- Research the company you want to apply for outside of the company’s website and make sure no one is complaining about how that company is a scam.
- Don’t give your financial information away to the scammer, such as credit card information, where scammers can easily steal your money.
- Don’t take a job that requires you to pay fees or up-front charges on certain things, even if it’s for a certification. The purpose of the job is to make money, not to spend money.
- Don’t accept paper checks as a form of payment. Only scammers will send paper checks as a form of payment because they can get away with paying you fraudulently this way. Most companies have stopped using paper checks because it is more expensive and use methods such as direct deposit or PayPal to pay you.
- Do not wire money or buy gift cards for your employer.
- Report any scams to the FTC so that they can put an end to these types of scams.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think you’ve been a victim of the holiday secret shopper scam.
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