Kentucky AG warns of 'mystery shopper' employment scam

Kentucky AG warns of 'mystery shopper' employment scam

FRANKFORT, KY (FOX19) - Looking to make some extra money for Christmas?

Be careful.

Kentuckians should watch out for seasonal unemployment scams, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear.

His office issued a scam alert Wednesday, after receiving multiple reports from Kentuckians who said they responded to a seasonal mystery shopper job advertisement that turned out to be a scam.

Someone in Scott County reported losing $2,000 to the scam this week.

While some reputable companies do hire mystery shoppers, Beshear's Office of Senior Protection recommends avoiding any ad, email or website that requires an advance payment to gain access to information on how to become a mystery shopper.

"Legitimate companies do not require you to make an advance payment to obtain employment as a mystery shopper," Beshear said. "Kentuckians must always remain vigilant about scams, especially job scams during the Christmas season when con artists are looking to take advantage of hard working Kentuckians."

Beshear said all job seekers should be on the lookout for these red flags often associated with employment scams:

-Asked to wire money. 
If your first task requires you to use your personal bank account to cash a check, withdraw cash and complete a wire transfer you are most likely being scammed.

-Sounds too good to be true.
Watch for job postings that promise a high salary to work from home and require little experience. Also, be suspicious if you receive a job offer without completing an in-person or telephone interview.

-Immediately asked to provide personal or financial information. 
Job seekers are often asked to provide Social Security numbers and other personal and financial information as part of the hiring process. Take extra time to verify a company and application before providing sensitive data.

To report a scam contact the Office of Attorney General at 888-432-9257 and or go here to file a complaint online.

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