BBB Warns Job Seekers of 'The Home Depot' Scam

By KOLR10 News

Published 06/05 2014 04:22PM

Updated 06/05 2014 04:23PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of an employment scam luring people to a phony secret shopper job through a promise of easy work, high pay and a check.

According to a statement from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), an employment offer has surfaced using the name ‘The Home Depot Survey,’ and uses fake website URL The scam uses the address of a Home Depot store in Auburn, California.

The BBB says job seekers are sent a cashiers check for nearly $1500, which includes an advance pay of around $300. The scammer instructs the job seeker to activate their employment and evaluate the security and efficiency of various retailers by making purchases.

The statement says one potential victim, who banks with the same institution where the cashiers check was drawn, visited their local branch, and confirmed that the check color they use is grey, unlike the beige check received from the scammer.

The bank insisted that all branches use the same color and confirmed with the branch where the check was drawn also uses grey and not beige checks. Additionally, BBB confirmed that The Home Depot has no affiliation with the employment offer.

Eventually, the scammer asks the applicant to wire the balance of any unused funds to another country in hopes the job seeker doesn’t realize that the deposited cashiers check is worth pennies or nothing at all, leaving the victim with an overdrawn account.

The BBB says there is no protection for consumers under these circumstances, if you deposit a bad check, you are responsible for it and for any funds paid from your account.

The organization recommends, before giving out your private information, depositing a check, or wiring money related to a job offer consider:

Find A Trusted Provider. Do research at, with trade associations, and online to verify the legitimacy of the offer.

Don't Give Out Private Information. Be aware that any personal information you provide may be used for purposes you did not intend. Only give personal information to brands you can trust and be certain that the page is secure. On online, look for the https and the lock symbol in the URL window of your browser. For more information, read BBB shopping tips:

Run An Internet Search. Review the agency's location, credentials, and history.

Beware of False Branding. Verify the relationship of any brand used in connection with the job offer and the employer.

Don't Pay for a Job. Employees receive pay for employment, not the other way around. Do not wire money to any third party.

Fraud is Fraud. Don't Get Caught Up. If you are asked to wire money to a third party, open an account and deposit money, or solicit people to engage in the same activity you could be perpetuating a fraud and be held accountable.

Report Suspicious Offers. If victimized or are in receipt of a suspect offer contact your local Better Business Bureau at

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