BBB warns of new employment scams using COVID-19 pandemic in the schemes

WATCH: BBB warns of new employment scams using the COVID-19 pandemic in the schemes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Better Business Bureau shared a new warning about employment scams because scammers are using the pandemic to make their schemes even more believable.

Memphis resident Patricia Woods said she was excited when she saw a check for almost $2,000 come in the mail.

“The money looked so promising,” said Woods.

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And all she had to do was be a secret shopper for the “COVID-19 supply chain support.” According to her contract, Woods was supposed to deposit the check, then go to two different Walmarts where she would observe whether employees were wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Lastly, she was asked to test the gift card system four gift cards worth $400 each (for a total of $1,600) using the money from the check.

The remaining balance of almost $400 would have been her pay for the job.

“It was just too good to be true,” said Woods.

And it was - the Better Business Bureau said there have been dozens of new COVID-19 related scams in the Mid-South.

“We know that right now when you go into the stores they are having you maintain that social distancing and there may be people wearing masks and so because they’re tying this employment scam to covid19 it just makes it all that more believable,” said Nancy Crawford with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.

Crawford said don’t be fooled especially if they send you a check ahead of time because it’s usually a fake!

“Banks are obligated by law to release funds within a certain amount of time but if they find out from the originating bank that the check was fake, they’re going to come back to you and say we need that money that you deposited,” said Crawford.

Fortunately, Woods called the BBB before falling for the scam.

Just last week, the BBB issued warnings about scams involving the stimulus checks coming out soon.

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