Getting paid for going shopping? Who wouldn’t take advantage of a job like that?

Who Is It Targeting: Anyone looking to make extra income or easy income

What It Is: Mystery shopping job offer

What Are They After: Work from home scams are nothing new, but there a wide variety of ways they target victims. In many mystery shopping or other work from home scams, the victim pays money for “training” or “materials,” and then has to do the legwork of finding companies to actually pay them to do the job.

Another form of an employment scam, though, such as the one received by someone close to the Identity Theft Resource Center, is actually phishing for your personal identifiable information with the probability of stealing your identity as a result. The initial job announcement—even before the job was actually applied for and offered to the applicant—requests enough personal information to steal the recipient’s identity.

Here is the email:


How You Can Avoid It:

  • Never give out your sensitive personal information in the job application process.
  • Limit it to information that would be readily available and necessary, but do not give out your Social Security number or other sensitive details.
  • There are legitimate work-from-home opportunities, but they require you to do your homework.
  • Remember, no one is going to pay you for doing nothing. Real job opportunities are exactly what they claim to be…work.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here.