Being a secret shopper may be a real job, but some fake "secret shopper" outfits bilk gullible customers out of thousands of dollars.
Nancy Salsgiver was targeted for a secret shopper scam. She said she received a check for $2,800 and instructions for a secret shopper assignment. The check was to cover the cost of shopping and her salary.
Nancy was asked to rate well-known stores such as Walgreens, TJ Maxx, Best Buy, and others. She was to rate them on multiple factors and then fax the survey to a company called I.F.A. Systems Info Source in Buffalo, New York.
The instructions are to deposit the check into your bank account and then wire $2,200 through Western Union or Moneygram. Victims of this scam unknowingly deposit a bad check. It takes the bank five to ten days to figure out it's bad. At that point, the money you wired is in the hands of the scammers and you have no way to find them.
The scam is appealing for many who are looking for a way to get out of debt. There are ways to recognize this type of scam and not become a victim.
"If you're given a check and asked to return a portion of it back to the person that's giving it to you... that's a big red flag," a Credit Union employee said.