A scam is taking advantage of people looking to earn extra cash over the holidays.
Scam artists know money can be tight for many families this time of year and Wednesday a Des Moines woman nearly became their newest victim.
Sherry Kepner answered a Craigslist ad for help wanted, last week. The employer promised to pay $400-per week for work as a packager and labeler.
Sherry never met the employer.
Through a series of emails, she was eventually asked to cash a check. She was told to take $400 as her payment, to purchase some art supplies and send the rest of the money to a woman in New York.
The check arrived at Sherry`s house on Wednesday in the amount of $3,450.
Sherry says a wise friend advised her not to cash it.
She investigated and found the bank and the company it`s written from are real. But the check itself is phony.
“I still don`t know if this woman in New York is aware that this is happening, that I have access to her bank account, her routing number, this is who I’m supposed to transfer the money to,” Sherry says.
Sherry says she plans to report the scam to the Iowa attorney general`s office.
Officials with the attorney general‘s Consumer Protection Division say this is an old scam that keeps popping up in different forms.
They also advise you never to answer a Craigslist ad for a job as a mystery shopper or secret shopper because that, too, is likely a scam.
The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division can save you from being ripped off. You can find out more about how they can help by clicking here.