Secret shopper job offer too good to be true

August 15, 2011 3:54:59 PM PDT
If you are out of work, your cell phone can be just the tool you need to set up interviews or respond quickly when you hear about a job opening. But now your phone may be working against you as a new text message job scam makes its way around the country.

Who wouldn't like a $50 an hour job right now? That's the promise of a text message job offer but taking the work could cost you.

Mattie Allen knows just how hard it is to find a job right now.

"I just got laid off last year, last July," she said. "I am still waiting for someone to call me."

Allen says the promise of a $50 an hour job could make a lot of people in her shoes very happy.

She said, "You say $50, who would not go for that, you know?"

But those looking for work need to be on the lookout for a fake job offer currently being sent by text message. The unsolicited text is an offer to become a mystery shopper and promises to pay $50 an hour. The catch? Job seekers have to give their bank account information or a credit card number to complete strangers.

Monica Russo with the Houston Better Business Bureau said, "A legitimate mystery evaluation company or market research firm is not going to ask you for this information. In fact, they usually cut you a check at the end."

While there are real mystery shopper jobs, Russo says the employers do not send out random text messages and do not ask for personal information.

"It looks like the classic mystery shopping scam," Russo explained. "In fact, the real secret to the secret shopping scam is that if you fall for it, you are not going to get paid."

For those out of work, it's just another thing to worry about.

"There are just a bunch of people out there so stressed out, behind, with what's going on with the economy and people losing jobs and it is hard to get a job, so there are a lot of easy things like that that will pop up," said Jacarlos Randle, who is looking for work.

We learned about this text message job offer from one of our viewers who sent the tip in by Facebook. He says he called the toll free number that came with the text message and right away the person on the other end of the line started asking for bank account numbers.

If you have a news tip, you can send it to us through Facebook by posting on our wall.

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