The advertisement that came via email was catchy: earn $500 a week as a mystery shopper.
"At first I thought, ah, not too good to be true. If it doesn't feel like work then it's not work," Jennifer said.
But with her husband out on workman's comp, Jennifer was looking to supplement her family's income and decided she couldn't pass it up. Only now she wishes she had.
"I was very angry. I felt very stupid. All I could do was sit and cry," Jennifer said.
The trouble started after Jennifer received a cashier's check in the mail for $2850 along with instructions. Her assignment: deposit the check into her account; go to Wal-Mart and buy five green dot money packs at $500 per card. Her boss said the remaining money was hers to keep.
"He needed my report. He'll read over the report and I send him the numbers off the back of the card. That left me with my pay," Jennifer said.
The reference number on the back of the card gives you automatic access to the money, similar to how a pre-paid debit card works. Two days after the bank cleared the cashier's check, came the phone call that changed everything.
"The check is reported to my bank as counterfeit," Jennifer said.
The bank told her she was responsible for her every penny. Money she doesn't have. The FBI and Harris County sheriff's office is now investigating.
"They pretend to promise the world and when the victim finds out later that it's fraud. They are hit twice,” said Sgt. Leona Peterson with the Harris County Sheriff's Office Financial Crimes Unit.
Jennifer hopes if enough people speak up, maybe the masterminds behind these schemes will be stopped.
"They can run but they can't hide. They can't get away with doing this to people," Jennifer said.
Some mystery shopper schemes send you a check to pay for your purchases, and then ask you to wire the rest of the money back. Investigators say no legitimate mystery shopping companies will pay you before you purchase the items.