BALTIMORE - We've warned you about secret shopping scams before, but just like many other con games, the scammers are trying a new twist.
Shopping is not only a necessity for some during the holidays; it's a hobby they love. That's why the idea of getting paid to hit stores sounds so appealing to some. They call it mystery shopping, where you get money to report back on how retailers and restaurants perform. But if you're not careful, you'll be the one out cash.
In this latest mystery shopping scam, the government’s Internet Crime Complaint Center says you get hired to test out money transfer services. The scammers send you a check, tell you to deposit it, withdraw cash and then wire it to a third party. But after you've sent the money, you'll find out the check was counterfeit and then you're on the hook, which means that holiday loot you've been holding onto will end up in the hands of a scammer.
The IC3 also says many radio stations are also getting caught up in secret shopper schemes. Their website says the stations are getting paid for spots advertising mystery shopping and then receiving complaints from listeners after those shopping opportunities turn out to be a scam.
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