Victim Location 25541
Type of a scam Employment
I received a legitimate-looking email from a University of Tennessee email address telling of a job opportunity for students to be a secret shopper. I applied and got it, thinking I was super lucky. They sent me an email telling me about my job and assignments and to wait for a mailed packet with my weekly assignment. I also got text messages from a sender who called themself Lucas Givens asking me for updates periodically. I got the assignment asking me to purchase $2500 worth of gift cards at local Walmart or Apple stores and to send them the scratches code. They sent me a check for $2850.88, the extra $350 for my assignment pay, and the extra $0.88 I assumed to keep the source more discrete (this being a secret operation). I didn’t have any doubts that this was fake since, upon looking at federal guidelines for detecting a secret shopping scam, I didn’t need to wire money (which seemed to be the main point). But my parents thought it was weird that a company would trust me with such a large check for a first assignment, and I did have to send pictures of the codes on the backs of the gift cards. So I did some digging, and found some people online finding them suspicious, but not really saying they went through the experience. Then I noticed it was taking an awful long time for my check to go through. So, I decided to look up the university office in the signature of the original email, but I couldn’t find them online. I emailed the Careers Office at UTK and forwarded the original email and asked if it was legitimate, and they quickly responded no. I went to my bank shortly after and explained the situation and said it was a scam and that they already had a hold on the check, and now the check deposit has been canceled. I’m assuming it’s some sort of money laundering scheme.
Victim Location 33313
Type of a scam Employment
I received an email from my school email address with a secret shopper job offer. Four days after applying for the "job" I received a package in the mail from Deanna Urand from Texas, with instructions on my first assignment and and a check for $2950. I was to go to my local Apple store and purchase two gift cards at $1300 each and the remaining $350 was suppose to be my wage for completing the assignment. After doing research I couldn’t find anything on the company, it’s as if CONSUMER CENSURE INC. doesn’t exist and have never existed. The only thing I found was stories of people who’ve fallen victim after depositing the check and later found out the check was fake.