Many scams target those looking for work or looking for a way to make money fast. From mystery shopping to car wrapping , scammers use the prospect of great money, fast to lure people into "applying" for positions that are actually scams. They will attempt to recruit through unsolicited email or text messages, online advertising, social media or job posting sites. The moment you applied, you became the target of fraud. You will get the job and the scam will progress.
Means of contact
- Social media phone
The scam starts with the promise of earning big cash, fast for doing any number of jobs with titles like mystery shopper, quality control officer, or financial agent, none of which are legitimate jobs. You apply and receive notice that you've gotten the position.
Along with your offer, you receive a cheque and instructions to deposit the cheque into your account and then transfer a majority of the funds into an account number they've provided. The cheque is often referred to as a signing bonus or to purchase required equipment. Regardless of your role, you'll be asked to make small purchases such as gift cards and then provide the scammers with the codes from the back of the cards. At each step, you'll receive a service survey based on your activities. This is part of the scam as the survey are only a prop to convince you the job is real. Eventually, you will discover that the cheque was fraudulent and that now you owe money to the bank.
There are many variations of this scam but they all promise fast and easy money, and instead lead to the victim to lose money.
- Car wrapping
- Financial agent
- Data entry (prepay for equipment and training)
- Pyramid marketing
- Stuffing envelopes (referral scam)
- Mystery shopper
- Reshipping scams (postal forwarding where you repackage stolen goods)
Read our Fraud Files article for a real-life example of this scam.