Scam Round Up: Teachers targeted in scam and more

Scam Round Up: Teachers targeted in scam and more

By Greg Collier

Today, we’re presenting our readers with three scams that, while not new, deserve to be reviewed.


Reports from Pennsylvania are saying that the Mystery Shopper or Secret Shopper scam is making the rounds again. Many retail chains do employ secret shoppers who go around to the various stores and rate their experience. However, scammers would have you believe these positions are plentiful, which they are not.

In Pennsylvania, reports there state that victims of the scam are being given fake checks to deposit in their bank accounts. They’re then asked to purchase hundreds of dollars in gift cards using the money from the fake checks. The victims are then asked to give the gift card numbers to their fake employer. By the time the victim’s bank notices the check is fake, the scammers have made off with the amount of the gift cards, while the victim is responsible for the amount of the fake check to their bank.

Remember, no legitimate employer will ever ask you to deposit money into your bank account that is supposed to be used for business purposes.


Our next scam comes to us from the Jacksonville, Florida-area. Reports there state that a police impersonation scam is ongoing there. In this particular police impersonation scam, the scammers are posing as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. The scammers tell their victims that a box of drugs intended for the victim was intercepted. In order to avoid arrest, the victims are asked to make some kind of payment.

If you receive a phone call like this, it’s recommended not to give the caller any personal information before hanging up.

Again, no law enforcement department or agency is going to call you and threaten you with arrest if you don’t make a payment to them.


Lastly, we have another police impersonation scam, and it’s the most common one. What’s different about this scam is who the scammers are targeting.

Reports out of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area are reporting an increase in the jury duty scam. This is where the scammers pose as local police and tell their victims they missed jury duty and a warrant is about to be issued for their arrest. Of course, a payment over the phone will make the warrant magically disappear.

Like we said, this is hardly a new scam, but the scammers are specifically targeting school teachers in the Pittsburgh-area. The scammers have even been calling schools and are asking to be patched in to teachers while they’re teaching class.

The report doesn’t say why scammers are targeting teachers, but if we had to hazard a guess, they’re targeting a profession where teachers usually have their hands full with what’s going on in the classroom and could be distracted easily by the scammers.

When it comes to matters concerning jury duty, all communication is usually done through postal mail and not over the phone.


These three scams can happen at anytime, anywhere in the country. Hopefully, we’ve armed you with enough knowledge to protect yourself.