Dana Brice was looking for a part-time job before the holidays. A simple way to make a few extra bucks to buy presents and gifts, “I was just hoping to find some easy that fit my schedule,” said Brice.

What she didn’t expect was to get an email from a friend about a possible job, “I went to look at the message and it had a link in it, it was about mystery shopping,” said Brice.

The link was asking for people who would secretly shop and grade their interaction with employees, “It seemed legit and even had an application process,” said Brice.

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After filling out the online application Brice had a phone interview with a person she thought was with the company. The phone interview lasted about 15 minutes and Brice was hired. A few days later she received an email, “Instructions came on letterhead about what to do and how to do it,” said Brice.

Brice also received a check for $3,000 and was told to use the money to buy items in the store, “Gift cards, iTunes cards, Google play cards, things like that,” said Brice.

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She was then told to send the cards to a specific address and keep a certain amount of money as payment. The scam is that check is bogus even though it looks real and you will most likely be able to cash it at a bank. The bank will eventually realize the funds aren’t there and pull the money from your account, “I do think people could get duped by this,” said Brice.

Fortunately, she wasn’t one of those people, figuring it was a scam after looking into the company and questioning the “so-called manager” on the phone, “He eventually hung up on me, so I knew it was a scam,” said Brice.

If successful the scam would have cost Brice about $2,000, “It would have been a bad Christmas, bad year, maybe bad couple years,” said Brice.

If you think you may be the victim of a scam do what Brice did, which is research the company, ask questions and even investigate the person you’re speaking with.

In the end, Brice didn’t get that second job for the holidays but at least she didn’t get scammed by this one.