Scammed Shopping for Ebay Gift Cards

It looked like their number. Any phone number can be spoofed. That is why we all seem to be getting phone calls from people in our home area code and home telephone exchange. About 3 weeks ago, a scammer was using my phone number (as spoofed and displayed with caller ID) to call my phone.
@shopper8 wrote:

The other day I got a phone call stating they were Amazon and that someone charged $700 on my account. I did not and would not give any information over the phone. The SCARY part was the phone number was the real Amazon number. I contacted them through email and yes this is a SCAM. I do not trust anyone on the phone. All the companies, banks, etc. will never ask you for information about your accounts, NEVER.
Yes I have been notified by the IRS, Tufts Health Insurance.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008

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I also just got the text message saying it’s from Bestmark. Obviously a scam. What’s strange is the link takes you to a Bestmark web site. I checked the web address with Whois.net and it is really Bestmark. I notified them as perhaps they have an internal scammer? Hopefully not true but I didn’t know it was possible to spoof a website like that.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2019 07:09PM by kenasch.
I don't think that they are spoofing the website. the scammers are linking to a real site so as to better suck in the gullible. Is the link part of the intended scam?
@kenasch wrote:

I also just got the text message saying it’s from Bestmark. Obviously a scam. What’s strange is the link takes you to a Bestmark web site. I checked the web address with Whois.net and it is really Bestmark. I notified them as perhaps they have an internal scammer? Hopefully not true but I didn’t know it was possible to spoof a website like that.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@myst4au wrote:

I don't think that they are spoofing the website. the scammers are linking to a real site so as to better suck in the gullible. Is the link part of the intended scam?
@kenasch wrote:

I also just got the text message saying it’s from Bestmark. Obviously a scam. What’s strange is the link takes you to a Bestmark web site. I checked the web address with Whois.net and it is really Bestmark. I notified them as perhaps they have an internal scammer? Hopefully not true but I didn’t know it was possible to spoof a website like that.

The link is where they ask for your info. However when I copied and pasted the link address to send to Bestmark, I then could see the full address which was obviously the scammer. These scammers are real web pros and can produce some really authentic looking pages. I did not they could spoof a website like this.
Enough people fall for this, so lots of money to pay the hackers.
@kenasch wrote:

These scammers are real web pros and can produce some really authentic looking pages. I did not they could spoof a website like this.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I also got the text for Bestmark today, as well as the email about 4 months ago. Both were sent to my email account and cell phone number that I use for a limited number of MS companies so I was sure that a shopper database was hacked and hypothesized as such in the thread about the emails for the $200 ebay giftcards. The hack was done sometime from February 2019 forward because in April the credit monitoring service I have reported that this confidential email showed up on the dark web.
@laura007 wrote:

THANK YOU for this post! I can't believe I almost fell for it. It does feel legit. It was the quirky e-mail address that sent me here. Yes Shopping Dad, even long time shoppers could look twice at this offer. There are plenty of shops that are reimbursed many hundreds of dollars. About Face had a project a few years ago (and may still) that reimbursed up to $75 to simply purchase prescription drugs. I had that project in mind when I saw this offer from Angela Mero.

If it's not a job on the board, it's a SCAM or someone else grabbed it.
@tstewart3 wrote:

@laura007 wrote:

If it's not a job on the board, it's a SCAM or someone else grabbed it.

I am going to disagree on that and I am going to repost what I wrote in the thread about the emails for the shop purchasing ebay gift cards supposedly from KSS.

@KateH wrote:

I have to admit that the email looked very legit. I did not pay attention and sent my phone number and name. I was approved to do the job!. After I read the instructions, I knew immediately it was MAY BE a scam? I looked carefully, and the address was @gmail. Yes, that was a scam. The problem is that I have done shops that require to buy something very expensive and get reimbursed for that. Even Marketforce had a shop that I went in a technology store and bought a third party item that was about $250, full reimbursement, no fee. I had to buy gift cards for other shops in the ~$150, but from the store itself. Also had to buy ~$20-$50 worth of gift cards from specific stores/banking institutions that were sold at cvs, gas stations, and supermarkets, both for the financial institution because they were checking whether the store associates were trained in doing it, and for an investment fund that they were measuring something that I do not know. Also, sometimes MS companies have projects that need to be done in 4 days and they sent targeted emails to few shoppers that have worked with them for a long time. Just always need to be careful! But clearly a shopper database was hacked because it came to an email that I only use for mystery shopping.

btw, I am currently doing a project going and purchasing gift cards (small amounts) from a specific chain but I received a credit card in the mail and it gets reloaded by the MS every day at midnight.
@KateH wrote:


btw, I am currently doing a project going and purchasing gift cards (small amounts) from a specific chain but I received a credit card in the mail and it gets reloaded by the MS every day at midnight.

I LOVE THAT PROJECT! I did it for my area last summer.
I looked closely at the web address for the text sent to me. It looks like Bestmark, but it is spelled "Bestsmark." That extra "s" is hard to see among all the url clutter. They skillfully recreated the real Bestmark logo, but the rest of the fake website doesn't look like a real Bestmark website at all. They may be sending different people to different sites, however--including sending some to the real Bestmark site. I wouldn't put anything past them.

I'm glad everyone is taking this seriously and is giving us information about the security breach earlier this year and how to stay safe.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2019 04:40AM by Susan L..
But then there are even more people who fall for it.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Unfortunately the scammers hammer our industry, and it's such a shame. We receive calls almost daily from folks who were contacted or unfortunately went through with the scam.

We try to update a page on our website with all the different types of scams that they've tried to pass off as Customer Impact. Feel free to review these and continue spreading the good word for shoppers to be on the lookout for these scams.

[www.customerimpactinfo.com]

Daniel Price
Chief Operating Officer
Customer Impact, LLC
dprice@customerimpactinfo.com
@SoCalMama wrote:

@KateH wrote:


btw, I am currently doing a project going and purchasing gift cards (small amounts) from a specific chain but I received a credit card in the mail and it gets reloaded by the MS every day at midnight.

I LOVE THAT PROJECT! I did it for my area last summer.

Are you not given a very specific list of stores you have to visit for that project, though?

There are so many things that don't add up in the scam email, but the main issue is the offer itself:


You are required to purchase an |Ebay |Gift-Card| ($200) at any | CVS | Walgreens | Kroger | 7-Eleven | Rite-Aid | close to you.


You can just pick ANY store you want...willy nilly, with no regard for the fact that there would be no control over what stores were shopped? How would that data be useful in any way?...and why would a $200 card purchase at a 7-11 have any more informational value than a $5 purchase to prove you were there?

Sorry to be harsh, but any existing shopper who would fall for that doesn't really understand MSing, it seems. Even if you could forgive the ridiculous formatting, there are too many things that just don't add up.

Most scams are based on greed, so when you see an offer that looks too good to be true, take a closer look at it, and ask hourself why a company would want to do that.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@KateH wrote:


btw, I am currently doing a project going and purchasing gift cards (small amounts) from a specific chain but I received a credit card in the mail and it gets reloaded by the MS every day at midnight.

I LOVE THAT PROJECT! I did it for my area last summer.

Are you not given a very specific list of stores you have to visit for that project, though?

There are so many things that don't add up in the scam email, but the main issue is the offer itself:


You are required to purchase an |Ebay |Gift-Card| ($200) at any | CVS | Walgreens | Kroger | 7-Eleven | Rite-Aid | close to you.


You can just pick ANY store you want...willy nilly, with no regard for the fact that there would be no control over what stores were shopped? How would that data be useful in any way?...and why would a $200 card purchase at a 7-11 have any more informational value than a $5 purchase to prove you were there?

Not really specific in some cases. Pick any Gucci in Los Angeles. The cheapest item I could find was perfume at $100. Even belts were over $200.

But honestly, unless you have an established relationship with a shopping company, they aren’t just sending out random emails to shoppers to do these kinds of projects.
Anybody know if imyst is being scammed? I got a job offer for an urgent movie theater that needs to be done this week end. I was signed up with imyst about 5 or 6 years ago, but I messed up somehow (can't remember what I did wrong) and got deactivated. It seems odd that I would get an offer now, especially since I haven't been in Michigan for over 3 years.
Now I am receiving the same as a text. I told them they are frauds. They use Bestmark's name though their website come up as bestsmark.com
I just recieved the text for the SCAM ebay job a few days ago and clicked the link before I realized it was a scam. This is the return email I recieved! ** Please note this is a Scam and not a true shop offer!

" Thank you for your interest in this project. We hope the instruction from the link was read and understood? if not please feel free to ask me whatever you need to know.

JOB SUMMARY


1. This evaluation requires the purchase of an EBAY GIFT CARD worth $200. You are to self-select 1, 2 ,3 or 4 retail stores around you, preferably ( CVS / Walgreens / BestBuy / Kroger /7-Eleven / Target / Rite-Aid / Family Dollar.)


Your elected location has been approved, you can start the shops as soon as possible.

Find below shop guidelines and details on how to proceed.


GUIDELINES:

1.Make an effort to appear like any other shopper in the store.

2.Do not take any of the paperwork associated with the shop onto the premises.
3.Do not ask employees questions that a typical shopper would not ask.

4.Do not stare at name tags.

5.Be patient while on the queue.

6.You may make purchases by cash or card.

7.In a case where a single $ 200 Ebay gift card is not in stock, you are to purchase smaller units to make up the target amount (eg $ 50 x4 = $ 200)

8.You will be permitted to keep and use the purchased gift cards after reports are received and approval is given at the end of the project which is the 20th of October 2019.

9. We allow upto 2 cards only per store, which means based on the store limit you are allowed to make a purchase of 2 cards per store (you will be reimbursed $230 each per card)


While shopping please take note of the following;


* Ebay Gift card visibility on the display stand.
* Observe staff conduct.
* Take pictures of the card display stand.
* Availability of Ebay Gift Cards in $ 200 denomination.
* Check out time (Card activation and payment processing).
* Take a picture of purchased card, card stand and receipt.


ROTATION

* Evaluators can complete all visits in a day and can visit the same locations again after 24hrs
* Evaluators can visit up to 6 different locations for this project.
* Evaluators can purchase a maximum of 2 cards per shop.
* Evaluations can be done 7 days per week if the location is open for business.
* Number of cards allowed: Between 1 to 6 cards (You can only purchase 6 cards maximum)


DEAL BREAKERS

* Failure to submit your report by midnight on the date of your visit.
* Missing photos or receipt.
* Incorrect purchase of compliance item.



TERMS:

Total reimbursement for this survey is $ 230 per shop ($ 200 card purchase + $ 30 shopper fee) via PayPal within 5 business days after report is Submitted.


TO PROCEED:


When purchase is done, use the link below for report submission for each location visited.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT REPORT

Please read the form carefully during submission.


Melissa Turing
Scheduler

Bestmark Inc.
website

BestMark, Inc.
5500 Feltl Road, Minnetonka,
MN 55343
A Mystery Shopping and Customer Experience Measurement Leader for 33 Years "
What can anyone do if they have been scammed? I think that information would be useful since it is unlikely thse scams will ever stop.
I think the lesson is to learn the markers of the scams, since little can be done after you have transmitted the card data to the scammers.

Outside of the ridiculous shop description:

1. No North-American company would ever refer to the line of guests as a "queue".
2. No scheduler would ever pre-approve you to select any store you want (how does that even make sense?).
3. The payment for the job is unrealistically high.

What data could any client possibly glean from a shop like this. If the client was eBay, why would they need an expensive purchase, or care about the purchase transaction? They could have you take a pic of the cards on display, tell them how many were available, and then reimburse you for a stick of gum to verify the location. That shop would pay $5 with a $1 reimbursement if it was real....and how on earth would it make sense to buy 2 of the same $200 cards on one visit?
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