Old scam with a new twist targets your kidsPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- It's one of the oldest scams around but now, it's targeting young adults. It’s the ol' secret shopper scam.
Like most folks, Raymond Malek heads to his mailbox every day, but recently, Malek says he received a piece of mail from Canada and it was addressed to his 13-year-old daughter, Bianca.
The letter, as you can imagine, piqued both of their interests.
"I got a letter in the mail and it was a check for $3,950, which is wow, and this is a real check," Bianca said.
"She doesn't have an account, ya know, she can't cash a check,” Malek said.
A letter that came with the check said Malek’s daughter was selected to be a "secret shopper." All the teenager had to do was deposit the $4,000 check and then immediately wire $3,300 back to Canada.
Part of the wiring process was to secretly test the efficiency of Western Union and its employees. It was all part of the secret shopper experience.
“It looks like a scam to me," Malek said. "To me that's easy money. That's a lot of money to give for just two hours of work.”
Malek eventually realized that the authentic-looking check was not real at all and by the time his bank would have discovered it was fake, the $3,300 his daughter was supposed to have wired would have been gone and he would have been responsible.
It's an old scam, but now crooks are targeting young adults like Bianca.
“To target me and adults, that's one thing, I should know better, but they don't know better,” Malek said.
There are very few legitimate secret shopper programs so be careful.
For more information about secret shopping scams, visit www.ftc.gov.