One Boise man thought he was making fast cash but is now several thousand in the hole after learning he had been duped.
”That is your hard-earned money and now mine is gone,” said Gentry Yarborough.
The Better Business Bureau is warning of a secret shopper scam that usually pops up around the holidays.
Yarborough was mailed a check for $3,700 and was instructed to fast cash it, and purchase $3,000 worth of prepaid gift cards.
He was told the remaining $700 would be his payment.
Yarborough first took his check to the bank, where he was assured the funds were verified, then proceeded to buy the gift cards.
”I just thought I was doing what needed to be done,” said Yarborough.
Several weeks later, the check bounced and Yarborough is now stuck with repaying $3,700 he doesn’t have.
“That is $3,700, I work hard for my money and I live paycheck to paycheck,” said Yarborough.
According to the BBB, prepaid debit cards are practically untraceable and there are signs to be weary of if you come across a similar opportunity.
“Anytime that you are sent overpayment, a check for more than you expect, it’s a big red flag. Also, anytime you start hearing something about wire transfer or prepaid gift card you know those are untraceable, so that is also a red flag,” said BBB spokesperson Emily Valla.
It's too late for Yarborough, but he says he will never fall victim to a scam like this again.