WMKY

AG Beshear Warns of ‘Mystery Shopper’ Seasonal Employment Scam

Dec 1, 2017

Credit Consumer Affairs

Kentuckians looking to make extra money in time for the Christmas season need to watch out for seasonal employment scams, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Beshear said his office issued a scam alert this week after receiving multiple reports from Kentuckians who said they responded to a seasonal mystery shopper job advertisement that turned out to be a scam. A resident in Scott County reported losing $2,000 to the scam this week.

While there are reputable companies that do hire mystery shoppers Beshear’s Office of Senior Protection recommends avoiding any ad, email or website that requires an advance payment to gain access to information on how to become a mystery shopper.

“Legitimate companies do not require you to make an advance payment to obtain employment as a mystery shopper,” Beshear said. “Kentuckians must always remain vigilant about scams, especially job scams during the Christmas season when con artists are looking to take advantage of hard working Kentuckians.”

Beshear recommends that Kentuckians research and verify all job listings and cautions job seekers to watch for these red flags often associated with a variety of employment scams:

• Asked to wire money.

If your first task requires you to use your personal bank account to cash a check, withdraw cash and complete a wire transfer you are most likely being scammed.

• Sounds too good to be true.

Watch for job postings that promise a high salary to work from home and require little experience. Also, be suspicious if you receive a job offer without completing an in-person or telephone interview.

• Immediately asked to provide personal or financial information.

Job seekers are often asked to provide Social Security numbers and other personal and financial information as part of the hiring process. Take extra time to verify a company and application before providing sensitive data.

One of Beshear’s top priorities is to protect Kentucky families, especially senior citizens, from scams, abuse and exploitation. To sign up to receive Scam Alerts text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at: http://ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

To report a scam contact the Office of Attorney General at 888-432-9257 and file a complaint online.

(provided by Office of the Kentucky Attorney General)