I Almost Fell For This Scam Targeting Missoulians
I nearly fell for a scam and I'm not even mad at them, because that's what scammers do, I'm mad at myself for not catching on right away. I'm typically very detail oriented and can spot a scam and/or spam a mile away, but since they were texting Dave's phone, I would glance and not really give it a good look. So here's how it went down.
Last month, Dave gets a text addressed to me saying a Whole Foods is coming to Missoula (and they said my name and Missoula specifically) and would I like to be paid to be a secret shopper. I thought maybe they hit up Dave's number instead of mine since his is a 406 number and mine is not. And it seemed totally legit to me, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. So I clicked the link, the website and questionnaire it took me to absolutely looked like a legitimate Whole Foods website. I answered some questions about my recent shopping experiences and they said I would earn $500 for a 20 minute shopping trip. Then they didn't say anything for a while, which also let me to believe they weren't eager scammers.
Earlier this week, Dave gets a text on his phone saying they are sending instructions for my "first assignment" to our house and be sure to look out for it. That's when it struck me that I still hadn't heard anything about a Whole Foods coming to Missoula. Thinking maybe WinCo was part of Whole Foods, I looked that up, no dice. So I Googled "Whole Foods scam" and boy howdy, there was a description of exactly what I had experienced. I was duped!
Today the package came in the mail addressed from Trust Media Inc. in San Francisco. Inside was an instruction sheet on what to do with the enclosed check for $2950.52 made out to me. According to the instructions, I am supposed to cash the check and go buy a bunch of Nike gift cards from any number of places including Target, Albertsons, Walgreens, CVS, and Best Buy. Then scratch the silver thing on the back to reveal the codes, take pictures of the back and front of all the cards and text them to a number. After that, I would get a text back with instructions on how to claim my "bonus" for a job well done.
So be on the lookout for this one, and warn your elders, I can totally see somebody's kindly 70-year-old Mom or Grandma getting sucked into this scam. The number they text from is 346-324-7606. The address on the check is Magnolia Rock Center LLC, 244 West 54th Street Suite 501, New York, NY, 10019.