BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Consumer experts predict scams to increase ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Some examples of these scams would be mystery shopper checks and fake job postings.
Alexis Anderson, of East Baton Rouge Parish, said she’s already receiving dozens of emails that include fake invoices and other offers from companies.
“My inbox is full of that stuff. I’m a lot different from many people because I teach financial literacy and know what to look for and not fall victim,” said Anderson.
Some of the schemes are more sophisticated than others.
Anderson said, “People have to stop and ask did I order anything from this company? Am I expecting a delivery from this company? Do I have anybody I owe that would be sending me a threatening note?”
The mystery shopper scam works like this, you receive or solicit an offer to become a secret shopper, and you don’t have to interview because you’re the perfect person for the position.
Next, the “company” mails you a check worth thousands of dollars to cover your secret shopping purchases.
You’re advised to deposit the check, go purchase gift cards and give those numbers to the “company.”
You later find out the check is fraudulent, and now you’ve lost money.
“Once you actually initiate a deposit, it may take months to get that cleared up, and in the meantime, you could have your legitimate money tied up and stolen out of your account,” said Anderson.
Experts suggest never joining a pay-to-play secret shopper service. Don’t fall for job offers that guarantee a position without an interview and never respond to requests for wire transfers.
If you have fallen victim or received a mystery shopper check, contact the Better Business Bureau.