Daria, of Highland, Ind., may be on some kind of list that she doesn't want to be on. She reports she was the target of two different, unrelated scams within 24 hours.
In a post on ConsumerAffairs, Daria reports that it all started with a pitch from a company that told her it hired “secret shoppers.” Daria was rightly skeptical.
“They tried to get me on the telephone, and when I did not fall for that they sent a letter with a check,” Daria writes. “I took the check to the bank for deposit. I had no intention using the money for the 'secret shopper' job until the check cleared.”
Other victims who have thought that way got in trouble because it can take weeks for the phony check from the scammer to be discovered. By then the victim has used her own money. Fortunately for Daria, the bank teller was able to examine the check closely and show that it was fake.
A scam was avoided and Daria was relieved, but her encounter with scammers wasn't over.
“No sooner than I get home from from the bank, I get the 'US Government Grant Department' on the phone telling me that I was selected for doing my taxes on time to receive $7,000 and how did I want to receive it,” Daria wrote. “He wanted my bank information. I told him that something was wrong with him if he thought I was going to give a stranger my account information.”
Daria was the target of two of the more common scams, and though they might seem unrelated, it is possible they are connected in some way. Scammers are known to compile lists of targets – especially people who have fallen for a scam in the past. In the scam world, retargeting a past victim is called “reloading.”
Both the secret shopper scam and the government grant scam work the same way. The victim is sent a large check, which is counterfeit. They are instructed to deposit it in their bank account and wire a portion of it back to the scammer.
Usually the transfer takes place before the bank finds out the check is fake. At that point, the money the victim sent to the scammer comes out of their account.
Very often, after hearing a pitch from a scammer a victim believes it is their lucky day. Luckily for Daria, she knew better.