Fraud

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They assigned me several retailers and told me to buy $200 in eBay gift cards. I was told to take photos of the gift card rack and send photos of the receipt, front and back of the gift cards, with of course, the activation code scratched off. So transparently a fraud. Where was my common sense. I was told I would get $30 per purchase and be reimbursed for the card purchase. I don’t know why I didn’t question this.
It will provide coverage for stolen or damaged property. This is a little different though, they told me not covered because I did it myself though being duped. They told me they do offer a cybercrime protection plan.
@SoCalMama wrote:

Members of this forum have been phished. There have been a few extortion attempts. Others have posted

Extortion? Would you care to elaborate?
@HonnyBrown wrote:

teddmom, with all the red flags that you saw, how/why did you fall for it?

I guess I wanted to believe it and did not think it through. I ask myself that question over and over again. I can’t sleep, I just keep rehashing what happened and wondering how it didn’t sink in.
You were vulnerable because of your family issues. That's what scammers prey on.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2020 12:23AM by HonnyBrown.
For your health, please stop stressing about it. I know it's easier said than done. Try some form of meditation, something to help you get your mind off this. Stress weakens your immune system and you have to stay healthy and strong. Best wishes.

@teddmom wrote:

I can’t sleep, I just keep rehashing what happened and wondering how it didn’t sink in.
Along those same lines, I got a call from Apple telling me that my bank accounts were being comprised and to call them.
I did not. To my knowledge, Apple does not call you. Just another way that people are unscrupulous and looking to scam you.
So many scams out there and with the current situation, I think there will be lots more.
I'm so sorry this happened to you. Please stop beating yourself up though. Can you think of it as if you went to a casino..had a bad day...and lost $1000? You can feel regret, but now move on. You can make the money up somewhere down the road and now you will be a bit wiser. It's unfortunate that the Corona Cooties are drying up our work currently, but things will improve. Can you expect a check from the government in the next week or two? That might help somewhat.

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
@MsJudi wrote:

Can you think of it as if you went to a casino..had a bad day...and lost $1000?

A housewife who tries to earn extra cash doing mystery shops then gambles $1000 in a night at a casino - this scenario sounds worse than the original situation.

The OP just made a mistake and lost some money. The other week I paid $8.00 for a book I already have. Mistakes happen. No need to dwell on mistakes. Just don’t repeat them.
@Book wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

Members of this forum have been phished. There have been a few extortion attempts. Others have posted

Extortion? Would you care to elaborate?

No because you don't know how to properly quote. I never wrote that. Try again.
@SoCalMama wrote:

No because you don't know how to properly quote. I never wrote that. Try again.

Hmmm... I would kindly suggest that you don’t quote long paragraphs of someone’s comments - then add a little sentence at the bottom. When skimming through comments on an iPhone it makes it difficult to see who is writing what.

Please target what you quote instead of quoting a random mass of paragraphs. I believe most users of this website would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.
You can return your book and get your $8 back. Losing $1k in a casino or giving $1k to a scam artist are regrettable mistakes in judgement. Both happen and both are regrettable and neither can be recouped. However, both can be placed in the past and learned from. Moving on.

@Book wrote:

@MsJudi wrote:

Can you think of it as if you went to a casino..had a bad day...and lost $1000?

A housewife who tries to earn extra cash doing mystery shops then gambles $1000 in a night at a casino - this scenario sounds worse than the original situation.

The OP just made a mistake and lost some money. The other week I paid $8.00 for a book I already have. Mistakes happen. No need to dwell on mistakes. Just don’t repeat them.

*****************************************************************************
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
Intentionally purchasing an $8 item that you already own in no way equates to being scammed out of $1,000.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

Intentionally purchasing an $8 item that you already own in no way equates to being scammed out of $1,000.

As I mentioned it was a mistake buying the book as I already possessed it. I forgot I already owned it. So, I wasted the money.
@MsJudi wrote:

You can return your book and get your $8 back. Losing $1k in a casino or giving $1k to a scam artist are regrettable mistakes in judgement. Both happen and both are regrettable and neither can be recouped. However, both can be placed in the past and learned from. Moving on


I don’t have a receipt or proof of purchase for the book. Would you go into a shop and hand them a product and ask for a refund without a receipt or proof or purchase?

Losing $1000 in a casino when you don’t have an abundance of spare cash is not a ‘regrettable mistake’. It is a demonstration that you have a serious gambling problem and need to seek professional help before it destroys your life.
Thank you all for the support and encouragement as well as positive vibes. I appreciate it!
teddmom, I am sooo sorry this happened to you. You were only trying to provide for your loved ones and got taken by these $$$$///##. This will pass. I have faith you will be rewarded with 10 x or more $$ of what you lost. Those who profited from this , nothing good will come out of it for them.
@Book wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

No because you don't know how to properly quote. I never wrote that. Try again.

Hmmm... I would kindly suggest that you don’t quote long paragraphs of someone’s comments - then add a little sentence at the bottom. When skimming through comments on an iPhone it makes it difficult to see who is writing what.

Please target what you quote instead of quoting a random mass of paragraphs. I believe most users of this website would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

Not interested in your comments at all.
I am truly sorry for your loss but glad you posted here to remind all of us to be very careful, especially now.

We all need to be aware especially now. The scams will probably increase in the coming months both within and outside of the mystery shopping world. Scammers best targets are those who have an issue already. I get constant calls telling me my electricity will be shut off, my social security number has been compromised and will be cancelled, there is an issue with my Apple account, Microsoft owes me money and click here to fix it. It goes on and on every day. I generally do not answer but some actually leave messages. I have recently gotten some grandma calls too.
Anyone who actually owes money to any of these places might be scared enough to click on it and then get caught up.
@sandyf wrote:

The scams will probably increase in the coming months both within and outside of the mystery shopping world. Scammers best targets are those who have an issue already.

Excellent point, Sandy!

I specifically noticed last week that the number of scam calls I received almost doubled on a daily basis...and they were often new scams. While I normally wouldn't bother to answer, the new telecommuting aspect of my work has me answering calls from unknown numbers just in case.
I got an email from someone at my church forwarding a scam email from Opinion Outpost. It said they were looking for mystery shoppers who would be paid $400 by cashier check or money order for each 20-minute job.

It took me several tries to draft a response that didn't reveal my inside knowledge of mystery shopping. The group it was sent to has hundreds of members, and I wanted to do my part so no one gets scammed.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I understand that you feel stupid, but I really appreciate you reporting this as thoroughly as you did because it helped me not fall for the same thing (which I was close to). I got the text just like you did. And when I got the confirmation email that I'd been approved for six shops, I did one more search for bestmark, adding "jessica mckenzie" to the search, and found this. So thank you very much. I just kept thinking it was too good to be true. But it bothered me that they specifically wanted me to get a $200 eBay gift card rather than a smaller denomination.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2020 08:06PM by ajhand9.
Thank you so much for posting this painful situation. It will help others in the future and I feel you were very brave to admit that you were scammed. As others have said - don't beat yourself up too much.
With so much unemployment out there and so much financial pain being felt by many I think we can expect to see scammers being even more aggressive now. Good time for all of us to remember if it's too good to be true, it probably is ...
Don't feel bad. I provided my email to the text. ( I'm an attorney too). When I received the email today, assigning me 6 stores, my spidey senses went off. I always say, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is". I came here to see if anyone else received the emails/texts. Here is the email I received.

Geri Kemen <geri.kemen@bestmarkinc.awsapps.com>
4:42 AM (4 hours ago)
to me

Hi Randi,

Thank you for your interest in this project. We recently received your application for this shop. Your zipcode and date of visit have been approved.You can choose to shop any of the following stores;

Locations available for your zipcode:
@ajhand9 wrote:

I understand that you feel stupid, but I really appreciate you reporting this as thoroughly as you did because it helped me not fall for the same thing (which I was close to). I got the text just like you did. And when I got the confirmation email that I'd been approved for six shops, I did one more search for bestmark, adding "jessica mckenzie" to the search, and found this. So thank you very much. I just kept thinking it was too good to be true. But it bothered me that they specifically wanted me to get a $200 eBay gift card rather than a smaller denomination.


Same, the thread helped me. My email said If the store doesn't sell 200.00 gift cards, I could buy numerous cards to get to 200.00. I guess they are changing their tactics.
@OP: Thanks for the heads up! You are not stupid; scammers are clever and they change with the times. Hope everything works out well for you! smiling smiley

The most dangerous idea is silencing people. - Naval Ravikant
And another thing, if it sounds too good to be true it more than likely is just a way to separate you from your money.
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