Scam of the day – April 15, 2017 – A new mystery shopper scam

It has only been a month since I last warned you about mystery shopper scams, however because these scams continue to snare so many unsuspecting victims, I am including the most recent mystery shopper scam email that is presently circulating as today’s Scam of the day. Mystery shoppers are people hired to shop at a particular store and report on the shopping experience for purposes of quality control.  Unlike many scams, there actually are legitimate mystery shopper companies, but they never advertise or recruit through emails.

The manner in which the scam works is that when you answer an advertisement or an email to become a mystery shopper, you are sent a bank check to deposit and use for your shopping.  You spend some of the money on the goods that you purchase which you are allowed to keep and also are directed to keep some of the balance of the check as payment for your services.   You are instructed to return the remaining funds by a wire transfer.  The problem is that the check is counterfeit, but the money you send by wire from your own bank account is legitimate and that money is gone from your bank account forever.

Here is a copy of the email I recently received:

“National Shopping Service Network, LLC  is one of the leading agency specialized in Global Customer Service Research. We are starting a very big research project in USA , This project takes place every week. So, we need to recruit Mystery Shoppers to work as a surveyor. You will get $200 – $300 for each assignment.

JOB DESCRIPTION:

You will be assigned to visit a shop.  You need to “pretend” to be a normal potential customer who is looking for a particular service or product.
You will then finish an on-line questionnaire to share with us your
customer experience.

Payment: Cashier Check or Money Order.

Send information below to get started If you are Interested.

Full_Name
Full Address (No PO BOX):
City:
State :
Zip Code :
Phone_Cell :
Gender_Age :
Email_Address:
Thanks for your participation.
Babb Williams
HR Manager
Customer Service Evaluation Team
The Premier Mystery Shopping Company
Copyright 2017®”

TIP

One reason why this scam fools so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you. An indication that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit  which is given after a few days, but which can be rescinded once a check bounces and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Additionally, this particular scam email was sent by the email address of a person entirely unrelated to any mystery shopping company which is generally an indication that you are getting the email sent from an unsuspecting victim of an email hacking whose email address is now being used as a part of a botnet of similarly hacked computers to send out scam emails such as this.

Scam of the day – March 5, 2017 – A new mystery shopper scam

I have written about mystery shopper scams many times over the last few years, but I am making mystery shopper scams the topic of today’s Scam of the day because I just received a new email that you may have received as well.  In addition, these scams continue to snag many unwary victims so it is important to remind everyone to be aware of this scam.  Mystery shoppers are people hired to shop at a particular store and report on the shopping experience for purposes of quality control.  Unlike many scams, there actually are legitimate mystery shopper companies, but they never advertise or recruit through emails.

The manner in which the scam works is that when you answer an advertisement or an email to become a mystery shopper, you are sent a bank check to deposit and use for your shopping.  You spend some of the money on the goods that you purchase which you are allowed to keep and also are directed to keep some of the balance of the check as payment for your services.   You are instructed to return the remaining funds by a wire transfer.  The problem is that the check is counterfeit, but the money you send by wire from your own bank account is legitimate and that money is gone from your bank account forever.

Here is a copy of the email I recently received:

“Hello, We are a company engaged in the mystery shopper field.
We need a team filled some people with age, residence location, experience and other different.
Description;
You will be assigned to visit the shop, store, bank, etc
You have to pretend to be a normal potential customers who’re looking for a specific product/service
You will then complete questionnaires online to share with us your customer’s experience
Get $350/assignment, at least 2 assignments/week will be assigned.
Requirements;
18 years old or above
Can read and write English
Can speak the local language well
Registration;
If you are interested reply this email fill out information below to get started :
�  Full Name :
�  Full Address :
�  City/State/Zip :
�  Gender/Age :
�  Email Address :
�  Phone Number :
So we can look at your distance from the locations which you have to put your service, and your address would also be need for your payments.
Best Regards
Head of Recruitment
 � 2005-2017 Agent Center for MysteryShoppers – All Rights Reserved”

TIP

One reason why this scam snares so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you. An indication that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit  which is given after a few days, but which can be rescinded once a check bounces and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Scam of the day – January 18, 2017 – New twist on secret shopper scam

Although there is nothing new about secret shopper scams or mystery shopper scams as they are sometimes called, they are scams that remain popular and  are still constantly finding new victims.   What is unusual about today’s version of the scam, which has been hitting the University of Nebraska at Omaha students and faculty is that it appears to come from a trusted staff member of the University.  The truth is that the scam email comes from the email account of a University staff member, but that is because the staff member’s email account was hacked and taken over by the scammer, which is a relatively simple thing to do.

When you answer an advertisement or an email to become a secret shopper, you are sent a bank check to deposit and use for your shopping.  You spend some of the money on the goods that you purchase which you are allowed to keep and also are directed to keep some of the balance of the check as payment for your services.   You are instructed to return the remaining funds by a wire transfer and report to the company about your shopping experience.  The problem is that the check is counterfeit, but the money you send by wire from your own bank account is legitimate and that money is gone from your bank account forever.  In the case of the University of Nebraska at Omaha secret shopper scam, a number of people have fallen for the scam and each of them has lost about $1,000 as a result of the scam.

TIP

Remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  Regardless of who it may appear has sent you and email or a text message, you can never be sure as to who is really sending you the communication so you should never provide personal information or send money in regard to an email or a text message until you have confirmed that it is legitimate.

As for secret shopper scams, one reason why this scam snares so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the MSPA-NA which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is  http://www.mspa-na.org/ Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit  which is given by your bank after a few days, but which can be rescinded once a check bounces and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Scam of the day – November 14, 2016 – Another mystery shopper scam

Although there is nothing new about secret shopper scams or mystery shopper scams as they are sometimes called, they are scams that remain popular and  are still constantly finding new victims.  I picked today to make this the Scam of the day because I received a scam secret shopper email that I am reproducing below.  I have removed the link contained in the email.When you answer an advertisement or an email to become a secret shopper, you are sent a bank check to deposit and use for your shopping.  You spend some of the money on the goods that you purchase which you are allowed to keep and also are directed to keep some of the balance of the check as payment for your services.   You are instructed to return the remaining funds by a wire transfer and report to the company about your shopping experience.  The problem is that the check is counterfeit, but the money you send by wire from your own bank account is legitimate and that money is gone from your bank account forever.

National Shopping Service Network, LLC  is one of the leading agency specialized in Global Customer Service Research. We are starting a very big research project in USA , This project takes place every week. So, we need to recruit Mystery Shoppers to work as a surveyor. You will get $200 – $300 for each assignment.
JOB DESCRIPTION
You will be assigned to visit a shop.
You need to “pretend” to be a normal potential customer who is looking
for a particular service or product.
You will then finish an on-line questionnaire to share with us your
customer experience.
Payment: Cashier Check or Money Order
Click here to read more and Sign Up if interested.
Thank you for participating.
Regards
David Bradon
HR Manager
Customer Service Evaluation Team
The Premier Mystery Shopping Company
Copyright 2016®

 

TIP

One reason why this scam snares so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the MSPA-NA which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is  http://www.mspa-na.org/ Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit  which is given by your bank after a few days, but which can be rescinded once a check bounces and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Scam of the day – January 17, 2016 – Another mystery shopper scam

Although there is nothing new about secret shopper scams or mystery shopper scams as they are sometimes called, they are scams that remain popular and  are still constantly finding new victims.  I picked today to make this the Scam of the day because I received a scam secret shopper email that I am reproducing below.  I have blocked out the email address and website address included in the email:

“Description-Job
You will be assigned to visit a shop.
You will then finish an online questionnaire to share with us your customer experience.
Requirements
17 year old or above,can read and write English.
No Experience needed like Shopping.
Pay Job
You will get U$325 for each assignment.
Most of the time you will only need to spend 17 minutes on the visit.
Names:
Address Line:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Mobile Phone Number:
For more details> Email > ********************
You can go to our site to apply:  **************************************
Jordan Miller
Paid Surveys
Secret-Shopper”

The manner in which the scam works is that when you answer an advertisement or an email to become a secret shopper, you are sent a bank check to deposit and use for your shopping.  You spend some of the money on the goods that you purchase which you are allowed to keep and also are directed to keep some of the balance of the check as payment for your services.   You are instructed to return the remaining funds by a wire transfer.  The problem is that the check is counterfeit, but the money you send by wire from your own bank account is legitimate and that money is gone from your bank account forever.

TIP

One reason why this scam snares so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the Mystery Shopping Providers Association which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is www.mysteryshop.org.  Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit  which is given after a few days, but which can be rescinded once a check bounces and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Scam of the day – November 13, 2015 – Another secret shopper scam

Although there is nothing new about secret shopper scams or mystery shopper scams as they are sometimes called, they are scams that are still constantly finding new victims.  I picked today to make this the Scam of the day because I received a scam secret shopper email that I am reproducing below:

“Perhaps, I may have a part-time job that you would find this interesting. We are looking for outstanding Brand Assessors (Secret Shoppers) to help evaluate sales performance and customer service in USA. We operate in a range of diverse business sectors, such as Retail,Hotels, Automotive, Supermarkets, Restaurants, Pub Retail, Banking and more. You will need to have a passion for standards, be conscientious,articulate, and fair. There are no hidden fees, there’s no-catch. Secret shoppers normally get paid between $250-$400 per assignment so you can earn as much as three thousand dollars a month for doing something that can make a real difference. Shoppers are expected to complete their mystery shopping assignment and fill out an evaluation form, answering questions about their shopping experience in the establishment, the quality of customer service, etc.

To start earning money immediate, reply this email with the following information below to sign up :

Full Name:
Physical
Address:
City,State,Zip,Code:
Mobile
Number:
Age:
Gender:
OCCUPATION:
EMAIL:

Thanks for responding, We will wait for your full details .

Regards,
Derrick Hay
Candidate
Recruitment
Team Secret Shopper @2015”

The manner in which the scam works is that when you answer an  advertisement or an email to be a mystery shopper, you are sent a bank check for you to deposit and use for your shopping.  You spend some of the money on the goods that you purchase which you are allowed to keep and also are able to keep some of the balance of the check as payment for your services.   You are instructed to return the balance by a wire transfer.  The problem is that the check is counterfeit, but the money you send by wire from your own bank account is legitimate and that money is gone from your bank account forever.

TIP

One reason why this scam snares so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the Mystery Shopping Providers Association which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is www.mysteryshop.org.  Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit  which is given after a few days, but which can be rescinded and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Scam of the day – September 16, 2015 – A new secret shopper scam

Although there is nothing new about secret shopper scams or mystery shopper scams as they are sometimes called, they are scams that are still constantly finding new victims.  I picked today to make this the Scam of the day because I received a scam secret shopper email that I am reproducing below:

“We have a customer service survey assignment in your location for you. We would pay $325 per assignment which would come in the form of a cashiers check along with comprehensive details in regards your assignment. You would also receive an instructional note. The job Entails an Evaluation process such as visiting Wal-mart, Rite-aid,Walgreen e.t.c Apply

Best Regards,
Annie Burkart
All Rights Reserved® 2015”

This particular scam email came carrying a legitimate looking logo, however there were a couple of telltale signs that it was a scam.  The email sending it came from outside of the United States.  It is unlikely that a company there would be doing secret shopping in the United States.  Additionally, the email address of the sender did not match the name of the company sending it or the name of the person signing the email.  It is apparent that an innocent victim’s email had been taken over as a part of a botnet to send these scam emails out.

TIP

One reason why this scam snares so many people is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the Mystery Shopping Providers Association which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is www.mysteryshop.org.  Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Scam of the day – August 3, 2015 -New Walmart mystery shopper scam

The mystery shopper scam is a tried and true scam that scammers still use to steal their victims’ money because the scam still works. The scam begins when you are contacted by mail or email purportedly by a company asking you if you want a job as a mystery shopper who will be paid to shop at their store and then report on the shopping experience to assist in market research and improving customer relations.    Below is a copy of an email that is presently being circulated that appears to come from Walmart telling the recipient that he or she has been chosen to be a mystery shopper.  The email address from which it is sent is Walmart@inc.walmart.edu which is not a legitimate Walmart email.  One key indication that it is not a legitimate email address for Walmart is that it ends with .edu which is reserved for educational institutions.  The way the scam progresses is that  if you respond, you are asked to deposit a check into your checking account and use the money to make purchases that you are allowed to keep.  You are then instructed to send the remaining funds back to the company.  Some victims, believing they were being careful,  deposited the check and waited a few days for the check to clear.   They then wired the funds, as requested back to the company only to learn a few days later that the certified check sent to them was a counterfeit and their bank had only given them provisional credit for the check into their account.  Once the check is found to be a fake, the provisional credit is removed from the victim’s account and the victim has lost the money that he or she wired to the scammer.

Here is a copy of the email presently being circulated.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.

“Hello,

You have been selected for a mystery shopping position

· Assignment location:

· START DATE: Immediate

· COMMISSION: $170.00 Per Survey

READ ABOUT US AND FILL THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM:

http://hosting.elmark.co.ke/Walmart/

Thanks for reading”

 

TIP

One reason why this scam works so well is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the Mystery Shopping Providers Association which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is www.mysteryshop.org.  Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for your bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.

Scam of the day – November 13, 2014 – Walmart mystery shopper scam

In a new incarnation of an old scam, people are opening mail to find a check that appears to be from Walmart.  In one recent instance, the check was for $1,991.62.   In other instances, the amounts have been as high as $5,000.   The letter accompanying the check requests the person receiving the check to become a mystery for Walmart and instructs the person to deposit the check, shop at Walmart, keep the goods they are requested to shop for and wire the balance of the check back to Walmart.

The mystery shopper scam is a tried and true scam that scammers still use to steal their victims’ money because the scam still works. The scam begins when you are contacted by mail or email purportedly by a company asking you if you want a job as a mystery shopper who will be paid to shop at their store and then report on the shopping experience to assist in market research and improving customer relations.  The pitch sounds legitimate and often the emails and letters appear to be legitimate although it is easy to counterfeit a company’s logo and stationary.  You are asked to deposit the check into your checking account and use the money to make purchases that you are allowed to keep.  You are then instructed to send the remaining funds back to the company.  Some victims, believing they were being careful deposited the check and thinking that they were being exceedingly careful, waited a few days for the check to clear.   They then wire the funds, as requested back to the company only to learn a few days later that the certified check sent to them was a counterfeit and their bank had only given them provisional credit for the check into their account.  Once the check is found to be a fake, the provisional credit is removed from the victim’s account and the victim has lost the money that he or she wired to the scammer.

TIP

One reason why this scam works so well is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the Mystery Shopping Providers Association which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is www.mysteryshop.org.  Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for you bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.  The particular Walmart mystery shopper scam presently done also has another telltale flaw.  The counterfeit check is from Wachovia Bank which was taken over by Wells Fargo six years ago and does not issue checks any longer under the name of Wachovia Bank.

Scam of the day – June 6, 2014 – Secret shopper scam

Although there is nothing new about secret shopper scams or mystery shopper scams as they are sometimes called, they are scams that are still constantly finding new victims.  I picked today to make this the Scam of the day because I received a scam secret shopper email that I am reproducing below:

Secret Shopper

A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE

Secret Shopper®

Secret Shopper® is accepting applications for qualified individuals to become mystery shoppers and merchandisers. Its fun and rewarding, and you choose when and where you want to survey. You are never obligated to accept an assignment. There is no charge to become a shopper and you do not need previous experience. After you sign up, you will have access to training materials on our site.

You will write a report about the customer services of the outlet we would give you to evaluate.
The report will be sent back to us via Email, you will have to use the following pointers to prepare your report :

How long it took you to get services.
Ambiance/Outlook of the Shop/Outlet
Smartness of the attendant
Customer service professionalism
Reaction of personnel under pressure
Information that you think would be helpful
Your comments and impressions.

Kindly send us your You can Apply for a job with us now. Email us your

First Name:

Last Name:

House No./Street:

City:

State:

Zip Code:

Phone:

Mobile Phone:

Email:

Alternate Email:

And we would get back to you ASAP with further details on the program

Sincerely,
Recruiting Department,
Secret Shopper®

The mystery shopper scam is a tried and true scam that scammers still use to steal their victims’ money because the scam still works.   The scam begins when you are contacted by mail or email, such as the one featured above purportedly by a company asking you if you want a job as a mystery shopper who will be paid to shop at their store and then report on the shopping experience to assist in market research and improving customer relations.  The pitch sounds legitimate and often the emails and letters appear to be legitimate although it is easy to counterfeit a company’s logo and stationary.  Once you agree to be a mystery shopper, you are sent a certified bank check for an amount such as $5,000 which you are asked to deposit in your checking account and use the money to make purchases that you are allowed to keep.  You are then instructed to send the remaining funds back to the company.  Some victims, believing they were being careful deposited the check and thinking that they were being exceedingly careful, waited a few days for the check to clear.   They then wire the funds, as requested back to the company only to learn a few days later that the certified check sent to them was a counterfeit and their bank had only given them provisional credit for the check into their account.  Once the check is found to be a fake, the provisional credit is removed from the victim’s account and the victim has lost the money that he or she wired to the scammer.

TIP

One reason why this scam works so well is that there really are mystery shopping jobs although the actual number is quite few and they do not go looking for you.  If you want to find out if a mystery shopping company is legitimate, you can contact the Mystery Shopping Providers Association which is a trade organization of legitimate mystery shopping companies.  Their website is www.mysteryshop.org.  Other indications that you are involved with a scam is when you receive a check for more than what is owed you and you are asked to wire the difference back to the sender.  This is the basis of many scams.  Whenever you receive a check, wait for you bank to tell you that the check has fully cleared before you consider the funds as actually being in your account.  Don’t rely on provisional credit and never accept a check for more than what is owed with the intention to send back the rest.  That is always a scam.  Also be wary whenever you are asked to wire funds because this is a common theme in many scams because it is difficult to trace and impossible to stop.