ACM Investigations LLC

Last week, I had a conversation with a local Instacart shopper in a local store here in Jasper. We know each other for a few months now and after a little chat, he told me that he got deactivated from Instacart for 4 days. The reason? He was the victim of a scam! He is not a rookie shopper and he was well aware of that scam, but they still got him.

It all started during in the afternoon, when he received a double batch with two stores (mean you have to go to two different stores and shop and deliver to two different clients), during his shopping at store 1, he receive a in app message from client 2 telling him that he will be shopping for his grandmother, and that she want to give him an extra $25 tip and would like his phone number in case she have a question etc, as she is not using a smartphone. He knew it shouldn’t share his phone number (it’s even illegal with Instacart to give your personal number to clients) but he did it anyway. For the $25 and because it was for a senior, so knowing him, he really wanted to make sure she was ok.

A few minutes later, the order got removed from the batch! He then contact Instacart support and ask why, support tell him that the customer canceled his order, it happen sometimes, no big deal but strange. 

My friend continue his shopping and other errands, until around 9:30PM when he receive a phone call from an unknown number. He answer that phone call and it was “Instacart” (The scammers) telling him that after review of his account, they found out he shared his phone number with a client, and his account was going to be deactivated. Of course he didn’t want that, so he explained the situation and why he shared his phone number and of course, it did go well and they told him that he was going to receive a text message and had to tell them the code, this only to make sure his account was secured and he was using the correct phone number. Unfortunately, he got the code and shared it. 

A few minutes later, he lost access to his account, the scammers took it over, changed phone number, debit card information (to cash out his balance) and then placed a fake order in an other state. Probably to do a shop and getting some groceries or other items (laundry detergents etc.). 

He got lucky, as Instacart did refund his money and he got his account open after a few days. But he learned a lesson this time. Never share code that YOU receive, by text message, or Instagram, or Email etc. It is really fast for scammer to take you in a moment of weakness and for them to get access to your personal information.

One other point that I think it’s crazy, is the fact that you just need a random code to connect to your account. Not a second verification code (like a Google Authenticator code or the last 4 digits of your driving license or something).

I just wanted to write about it as those scammers are really after anyone these days, and it’s really quick to get scammed. This is one of the reason why we created the service “Is this a Scam?“, to help people learning about actual scams and how to avoid them in the future.

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