Beware of the ‘Mystery Shopper’ Scam That Uses LinkedIn as Lure
The Better Business Bureau is warning the public about a scam that actually uses the LinkedIn website to lure its victims.
Spokesperson Veronica Craker says job seekers should be aware of this high-tech scam.
“It’s basically someone recruiting employees to their mystery shopper business,” Craker said. “It looks really authentic, they seem to have the paperwork down, they’re contacting people through LinkedIn which seems very legitimate, but what ends up happening is the new employees get scammed, sometimes out of thousands of dollars of their own money.”
Craker explained how the scam works.
“The company is called Cube Survey, and once they’ve hired their victims, they send them a check and tell them to deposit into their bank account and deduct their commission, and then use the rest to be a mystery shopper at, say, Wal-Mart and buy these gift cards’” she said. “Once they do that, they’re supposed to give the gift card numbers back to their employers so the money can go back into the system, and then you fill out a survey about how everything went. So, the victim is out the money they spent on the gift cards plus any money they may have thought they were earning.”
One individual lost over $7,800 of their own money in the scam.
One red flag is when they ask you to pay yourself for the job. Craker said any legitimate business will send a paycheck to the employee.
Anyone who has been contacted for this ‘mystery shopper’ scam should contact local authorities immediately, or visit the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker site.