FORT MYERS, Fla. - Win a $500 gas card just by paying $79.95. It sounds like a scam and it is.
Postal inspectors discovered this one online while looking for scams that pose a risk to consumers.
"You would send the $79.95 to the suspect and they would send you paperwork back on how to conduct your own scam," explained Laura Carter, a U.S. Postal Inspector.
Victims never received a $500 gift card. Instead, they were given a blueprint on how to con more folks out of money.
"They would tell you how to place an ad in a newspaper or online advertising this $500 gift card for $79.95 thereby you would get the $79.95 from these victims, so this could perpetuate into additional victims," Carter said.
Inspectors say they are seeing more of these simple scams.
"During tough economic times its difficult for people to get to their own job, let alone pay for the gas to get there, so a $79.95 dollar payment for a $500 gift card sounds really great to people," Carter said.
Obviously, there's something wrong here. You can always check with the Better Business Bureau, or do an online search to see if there's a problem with an offer you're considering.
In this case, falling for it means you might become a criminal yourself.