A 22-year-old woman was allegedly scammed out of $1,300 after being sent a cashier’s check for $2,482 and instructed to purchase gift cards, Bloomington Police Department Capt. Ryan Pedigo said.
The woman came across an online survey May 15 asking respondents their preference between iOS and Android phone operating systems, Pedigo said. The survey also offered an opportunity to make money, and she entered her phone number and started receiving text messages.
She was sent a cashier’s check for $2,482 and was told she could keep $400 if she purchased Google Play and Steam gift cards and emailed the card numbers and activation codes to a provided email address, Pedigo said.
The woman went to CVS and purchased a $500 Google Play gift card, and then went to Walmart and purchased four $200 gift cards for Steam, an online platform used to purchase and play video games. She also emailed the card numbers and codes as instructed.
A clerk explained to the woman that she was probably being scammed and needed to call the police, Pedigo said.
Attempts by the police to contact the number she was given instructions from received no answer. Pedigo said these scams work by having the victim spend money before the initial check given bounces, leaving the victim with an overdrafted bank account.