The desperate hustler (let this be a VEERY valuable lesson)

Happy labor day weekend Compounding dollar fans, it's story time.

Money. Boy do I love money, (I run a blog about it for goodness sake) I’m always trying to figure out ways to invest my money, save my money, and acquire more money. Money is seductive, like the girl or guy you saw at the bar that was hot kind of seductive (but alas didn't have the confidence to approach him or her :() Some folks will go to extreme measures to make an extra $100, $500, $1000 a month. From the dangers of drug dealing to committing any crime to trying out their luck by gambling. Now, you’re probably thinking that I am bound to come clean and admit that I make my money in dirty/illegal ways as well, either by sending emails to folks around the world and pretend I own a diamond mine and would be willing to hand you a sample of the diamonds only IF you hand over your credit card OR leader of a drug cartel that makes a quarter million every day… luckily for you my friends that is… NOT the case... at all. It’s actually pretty pathetic, I signed up to be a mystery shopper and got scammed, big time. It’s all due to the fact that I was seduced and in love by the money I was SUPPOSED to make as a mystery shopper. The folks that scammed me were REALLY clever to come up with this one, so props for them, but also f$ck them. A story with a victim's perspective, how fun. Here is my tragic story on how my girl money and I broke up for a little while (We’re back together now, thankfully :))

It all started in the summer of 2015, I had bumped into a site (what seemed VERY professional by my standards) to become a mystery shopper. I figured, why not? I would love to make some cash on the side while working and studying. (Speak of the devil, as I’m writing this I get a call from my financial institution advising me of potential fraud due to my recent purchases. I’d be wary as well if I ran a bank and one of my client’s purchases were for advertising services, Uber eats, and eating at a taco place all within an hour, anyway.) I receive a text later in the week to begin my “work” as a mystery shopper. I would get my assignment every two days through the mail, as well as my compensation, and report back to my “boss” at the end of every assignment. The day finally came where I had my first assignment, eager, I quickly open the envelope to see a slip of paper and a check for $2.5K. A bit frightening to see the size of the check and was thrown off as to why I had something THAT big in my mailbox. Regardless, my love for money blindsided me and I didn’t ask any questions, I just needed to follow the assignment. I read the slip of paper and the instructions were as follows.

·         “Deposit the check and withdraw $2,200

·         Go into a store with a MoneyGram kiosk and judge the store and the MoneyGram service as well, while you’re there, take note of the person who attends you, how organized the store is, how clean the store is, and how you were treated during your visit

·         Once there, use the kiosk and send the $2,200, at the following address *insert address here that is most likely fake since they don’t want to get caught, but still want to receive their cash* also take note of the kiosk and how it looks and operates

·         As you leave, make sure you take note of where the store with the kiosk was located, the receipt of your transaction, and their phone number

·         At home, be sure to write and give a good description of your trip and submit to JimmyYou’reAnIdiotForBelievingThis@FakeBussiness.Dummy

·         Once you’ve completed the task, you can compensate yourself with $300 and we will assign you to your next task.

IF YOU DIDN’T SEE ANY RED FLAGS IN THOSE INSTRUCTIONS THAN YOU MIGHT JUST BE IN LOVE WITH MONEY JUST HOW I WAS BACK IN 2015. I foolishly said, “okay then… allow me to do whatever this stranger who I never met before do exactly as he or she says.”

I deposit the check using my banks' mobile app, the following day, I withdrew the cash, went to a store with a MoneyGram kiosk, sent the money, and kept $300 to compensate for my “hard efforts.” I thought I was a genius, I thought I could have reached millionaire status in NO TIME. I described EVERY last detail to my “boss” and was told I did an excellent job and should wait until they send my next assignment.

The next assignment was delivered in my mailbox and for some reason, it was the SAME exact assignment, with the same check of $2.5K, only this time, the slip of paper wasn’t in color (but that’s not the point) AND there was a note saying to evaluate a different store with a MoneyGram kiosk. I, STILL CLUELESS AND VERY MORNIC said “okay then… allow me to do whatever this stranger who I never met before do exactly as he or she says.” As I was about to deposit the check again through my banks' mobile app, I noticed that my bank account was in the red. I asked myself, “how did that happen?” I start looking at my recent transactions and the bank took exactly $2.5K out of my account, the same amount I initially deposited 4 days ago or so. Then when I see the description/reason as to why the money was taken out of my account was “due to counterfeit/fraudulent check.”

Those motherflowers gave me a false check that SOMEHOW was valid when I deposited it, but when you had further review of the check, it mordaciously became counterfeit. I was furious. My love and obsession for cash were super overwhelming that I could not have SEEN this train wreck that was bound to happen. I call up my banker and told him THE WHOLE story, fortunately for me, he didn’t throw me to jail (yet) I quickly contacted the police and told them the whole story as well (not even the cops wanted to throw me into jail for depositing fake checks.) Not only did I lose $2.5K of my personal cash, but a little bit of respect for myself (not really) on how low I stooped just to get some easy cheddar.

Needless to say, this experience has taught me A LOT of things.

  • Always check the mystery shopper site to make sure they’re certified for this work
  • Wealth and riches cannot be accumulated overnight, it takes time, effort, and being very diligent as to where you place your money
  • Money can never have been earned THAT easily, especially in those quantities.

I became smarter with my cash now, and I’m proud to say that Money and I are back together again, we love each other dearly, and our relationship was just as strong, if not, stronger than it was back in 2015.