A scam is targeting people who are trying to earn extra cash, promising them the chance to be a “secret shopper” for various businesses. While secret shopper jobs are available, the legitimate opportunities have some distinct qualities that shouldn’t be ignored. Below you’ll find some of these distinctions as well as some advice if you are getting into the “secret shopper” game.
- Don’t Pay a Penny
If the secret shopper opportunity you’re considering is asking you to pay any money at all (usually for a certification, a directory of opportunities, or a registration fee), it shouldn’t be trusted. Legitimate secret shopper opportunities come without financial strings attached.
- Don’t Wire Money
In some less-than-reputable secret shopper opportunities, your first “assignment” will be to test the process of wiring money with Western Union or Money Gram. In this situation, you’d cash a check, access the funds, and then wire the money from that check back to the “client.” If the opportunity you’re considering sent you a check, don’t cash it. If you attempt to cash a fake check and are able to access the funds from that check, that doesn’t mean the check cleared. By law, a bank has to make funds from a check available within a few days of the deposit, but it can take weeks for a bad check to be identified. If it is determined that a check is fake, the person who cashed the bad check (you) is responsible for the money, which means that you’ll have to pay the bank back.
- Don’t Trust Everyone
At First Independent Bank, we take your privacy and security seriously. We do more than just protect your personal information. We also are here to help you stay protected from outside threats to your privacy and your personal and financial security. If you feel like you need an extra set of eyes or a professional perspective on your personal or financial situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local branch.
And while we're talking about being safe…
Remember, First Independent Bank will never ask you for personal information or for your password or pin over email. If something seems questionable, it’s always better to check. We’ll do our part to keep you protected from risks.
Contact us immediately and we will take steps to ensure that your information and accounts are safe.