Wednesday, January 14, 2009

'Tis the Season to be Wary

Mrs. Accountability at Out of Debt Again has a post about a co-worker who got scammed on Craigslist.

I paid particular attention to this post because something similar almost happened last month to my 27 year old daughter.

My daughter, who is always looking for extra money, responded to a Craigslist "Help-Wanted" ad for mystery shoppers. My first clue, if not my daughter's, was that the response to her resume, accepting her as a mystery shopper, had a number of spelling errors. Shortly thereafter, a check arrived in the mail for $2900. My daughter was instructed to deposit the check to her bank account, keep $500 for herself, go buy an IPOD and then mail the IPOD and a cashier's check for whatever monies remained to a post office box in Atlanta.

Fortunately, by this time, my daughter's BS detector went off, and she decided to google "mystery shopper scams." It was there she learned that ANY condition that she deposit a check and then "refund" some of the money by wire or by mail meant she was involved in a scam and that the check would eventually be returned to the bank as worthless.

So she reported everything to the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to the instructions from Craigslist and resigned herself to NOT making her fortune as a mystery shopper. Still, I can't help wondering if anyone was taken in by this scam, as my daughter almost was.

Just about the time we're congratulating ourselves that we'd never fall for Nigerian e-mails, or mystery shopper scams, or those "buyers" who ripped off Mrs. Accountability's co-worker, along comes a Madoff and makes fools of all of us.


Sharon said...

You know, if people put all of their energies in doing good...what a wonderful world this would be!

Thanks for the heads up on this.

Anonymous said...

You never get something for free. If it sounds to good to be true....seems I have heard that before.
Good post for warning people,nicely done.

FB @ said...

I encountered something similar when I was in my early teens.

Here's how I almost got suckered in.

Fabulously Broke in the City

"Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver."

Fede said...

Greed seems to always overcome any common sense for a lot of people. I'm glad your daughter has a very good BS detector. If it was so easy to make money, we would all be rich, you'd think by now, most people would know not to pay attention to those scams. They even do it for house rental (moving to town to model, need place to stay, my agency will forward 3 months deposit, but check is made out for 4 months, send the difference to my account..) My realtor almost fell for it. The email came from London and sounded so true..but it was BS, all l had to do was do an internet search and it led me to the scam page and l forwarded the email to the British Authority as instructed.