DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – It seemed too good to be true, and perhaps Sandra Smalls of Terrell said that should have been her first warning.
She and her husband, both retired, were in need of a little extra cash when she received an email about being a secret shopper.
“I thought if I could make $300 a week that would sure help out,” said Smalls.
Within days her first check came in the mail for $1,600.
As instructed Smalls deposited the check, kept $300, and wired the rest back to the company.
A few weeks later, the check bounced.
“I cried,“ said Smalls recalling the conversation with the banker. “He said what are you crying for, it is not your fault. I said ‘but how am I going to make it up.'”
Smalls is now on what the Better Business Bureau refers to as a “sucker list.”
After cashing the fake mystery shopper check, Smalls received dozens of other emails the BBB said are also scams.
“I may be a blonde but I’m not totally stupid,” said Smalls. “You do me dirty once, you don’t do me dirty twice.”
The mystery shopper scam has become so prevalent and effective; it made the BBB’s top ten scam list.
However, according to the BBB, the top scam of the past year was the fake Sandy Hook Elementary charity.
“I think sometimes people hear what the scammer says and there’s a little voice that says maybe this isn’t right. You should listen to that voice and stop, think it over,” said Jeannette Kopko with the Dallas Better Business Bureau.
For a detailed explanation on the Top Ten scams of 2012, visit the BBB’s website.
Top Overpayment/Fake Check Scam: Car Ads
Top Emergency Scam: Grandparents Scam
Top Employment Scam: Mystery Shopping
Top Advance Fee/Prepayment Scam: Nonexistent Loans
Top Phishing Scam: President Obama Will Pay Your Utility Bills
Top Sweepstakes/Lottery Scam: Jamaican Phone Lottery
Top Identity Theft Scam: Fake Facebook Tweets
Top Home Improvement Scam: Sandy “Storm Chasers”
Top Sales/Rental Scam: Real Stars, Fake Goods
Scam of the Year: Newtown Charity Scams
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