INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- If you’re still looking for part time holiday work be careful, scammers could be targeting you. The same goes if you’re already working a seasonal job and will be looking for more work in January.
From the second Jeana Baker opened up an envelope, something about the pitch inside just didn’t seem right.
“It says no calls, texts only,” said Baker, “but they wanted you to deposit the check into your account then send it to two other people, and I thought that’s not a good thing, this is a scam.”
She was looking for part time holiday work, so the idea of being a secret shopper, like this letter was offering, sounded fun. But between the fishy checks and the sketchy correspondence, Baker knew she was looking at a hoax.
“Even though they put it on Western Union paper and they sent it priority mail, pay attention to the information they’re sending you,” said Baker.
Others might not be so observant, especially if they’re hard up for work and desperate.
“Those people can be more vulnerable and the scammers know that,” said Tim Maniscalo with the Better Business Bureau. He said the letters Baker got are old tricks that the BBB has seen many times before, but that doesn’t make them any less financially dangerous.
Maniscalo says watch out for red flags like instructions to only communicate with the letter’s sender by text message or if the offer just seems too good to be true.
“And then whenever there’s a situation where you’ve got to pay something or you’ve got to give someone back money that’s a big red flag,” said Maniscalo.
Baker just wanted some extra holiday cash but she didn’t need it to survive. However, she worries about those who would.
“If someone was desperate for money, they’d probably think this is something good,” said Baker.