Mystery shopper scam strikes again

picture of shopping bagsIt sounds pretty good: you walk into a store like any other customer. Then 20 minutes later, you’re done, ready to write a report that will earn you $50. And then you can do it again.

If Shopper Systems and some companies like it were to be believed, mystery shopping jobs like this were not only widely available, but could generate “insane profit.” All for just $2.95 for training and a week’s trial, then $49.95 a month after that for an up-to-date list of interested retailers — and you’d be free to cancel any time.

But they couldn’t be believed, the FTC says. According to the FTC’s complaint, people who paid to be mystery shoppers found there were few, if any, jobs in their area. And the jobs that did exist paid a lot less than $50. People who tried to cancel found they were still charged $49.95 a month, not knowing they were also enrolled in a second “opportunity” running their own webstore.

The companies and people behind the alleged scam have agreed to settlements with the FTC that ban them from selling business or work-at-home opportunities and require them to surrender assets to the FTC.

Legitimate mystery shopping opportunities are out there, but so are plenty of scams. Don’t pay to be a mystery shopper — information about mystery shopping jobs should be free, and certifications offered are often of little value. Many professionals in the field consider mystery shopping a part-time activity, at best, and opportunities generally are posted online by marketing research or merchandising companies.

Want to learn more about these kinds of scams and get tips on finding legitimate mystery shopping jobs? Read Mystery Shopper Scams at

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money


yes, so many scam in there

I just received a check for 3900.00 I will be paid 250.00 with a bonus of 100.00 of I complete the task within 24 hours. I have to buy 7 vanilla reload cards with each amount at 500.00 so that is $3500.00. The check looks legit from TD Bank these scammers are getting good. The company overnighted a FEDEX from Bert Ogen Motor Company Inc. in San Jose Ca.
Beware!!! these guys are good everything looks legit but there is no phone number and the email is a gmail account where I email the pin numbers are you kidding me?

I got a similar check. I just tore up the check and trashed it.

What are we supposed to do if,we receive a letter exactly like this?

You don't need to respond to the letter. Some people give the fake check to local law enforcement or their bank or destroy it. You can contact your  state and local consumer protection agencies for more information.

Your state attorney general, consumer fraud dept., would most likely love to have this letter. Here in Maine, they actually answer the phone LIVE and are always very interested in any consumer fraud issues like this. The more people who notify them, the better, they can't ignore sheer numbers. If everyone did this, it would make their job at tracking the crooks down a whole lot easier. Unfortunately, if its origin is overseas, their hands are tied, but there is ALWAYS a U.S. connection somewhere. Everyone should contact their state's attny gen, at the very least they can get a consumer warning out to the public via newspapers and the evening news.

Were did you get the check from

I just received a check for 1850.00 and was overnighted from reno says wells fargo everything marched up address and i called the bank in reno and asked to verify check and it wasnt in their system. I didnt receive i.structions yet so I messed with the guy and emailed the person whobsent me the check and told him my bank cashed it no problem but i got weak and bought a bunch of crack with it, cause i would need to be on crack to fall for so,eone who sends me.a cbeck only to cash it and buy cards and send tbem back to him Or so,ewhere else, wherever this has fraud all over it, i knew it as soon as he said he was sendi.g me a check after only reviewing my resume i sent to a hotmail account with no phone llc do no get your hopes up these people depend on your ignorance and hard luck cases...good luck and keep a sharp mind...

I just got a $1960.00 Mystery Shopper Check and was suppose to deposit and wire money to a guy in Puerto Rico. Found the address and it's a small Convenience Store in NJ, the label shows a zip close to it but USPS tracing # shows it was mailed out of Utah and the check is drawn on a bank in Florida. I called the bank to notify them, they were aware of the situation. I found the young man on Facebook, a kid of sorts, I doubt he is part of the "gang" and they are using his name and someone in PR has a fake ID for pick-up, but NOT from me
! My only concern is they would use my name in future stupid fake check scams.

Please file a complaint with the FTC at If the scheme involved the U.S. mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You also can alert your state Attorney General.

I just got a cashiers check also for almost 3,000
IT came with directions for my assignment and every thing it look legit. Phone number and everything.

I also received a check for almost 3,000. But I said to myself, who would send someone that amount of money and don't know anything about them and just trust they would do what they ask them to do. Know background checks, nothing. That's why I say it's a scam. It's sad because some people will fall for this.

I got three of the scam checks. I called local police couldn't help, local FBI wouldn't help, filed claim with (White Collar Crime Task Force), got a reply too busy, contacted USPS Postal Inspector who said I was wasting her time ( had received all in Priority Mail Envelopes, last one contained USPS Postal Money Order, tried Ohio States Attorney Generals Office who explained, not their area, called Walmart Headquarters in Arkansas and they said they did not care to help. I blame Walmart for letting it happen. The forms one uses to transfer are a joke. MoneyGram and Walmart to Walmart use the same form. The form is dictated by MoneyGram (an overseas company that Walmart has partnered with). Walmart, the All American Store. NOT. The are allowing it to happen by doing absolutely nothing about it!!!!! BOYCOTT WALMART!!!!!! They could stop it if they wanted to. The rep from Headquarters told me they did not care to do anything!!!!!

i just got a check from this yesterday for 18322.22 i took it to wells fargo and of crouse its fraud but they aer doing something about it they call the fedrel fraudulet angencey now hearing aboutall of your comments im worried what if they try to use our names mine came from charlolett it had the watermarks and all it was all to the securtiy finger print on the check and said from walmart so yes walmart should do something since its their name their useing but for all we know walmart just might be apart of it or a worker there

Looks like they have updated their scam a little. I just received a check for 3745.50. 700.00 was for my Evaluation of customer service agents at Vanilla Reload Network and my training. 3000.00 was to buy 6- 500.00 cards. 45.50 was for Service charge and mailing fees. The check was drawn on Northern Trust Bank/Dupage, Oak Brook, Il., which has been inactive since March 1st, 1996!

I just got that check today! I've been researching trying to see if anyone cares since it's from a po box that could be traced if they get enough complaints, i guess.

I just got a check Yesterday.$2950.00
I am to send by western union.
1- Leah Millen..Waco, Tx. $1300.00
2- Jones Guille..Beaumont, Tx. $1300.00
3- $50.00 western union fees
4- $250.00 was to be mine for doing the job.

This is unreal. People that are looking for work. These scamers jump in the mix, some how. I thought the Shoppers site was a real job.

what website did the scammers use??

I received a very similar letter and cashier's check for $2850.32 asking me to send it to two people in different cities.

1250.32 each person My payment is $300 and 50 for fees. I deposited it and I went to send it and seen a warning on walmart money gram form about these mystery shopper scams. I deposited that money back into my acct and informed my bank about the situation. The story changed and they want me to send all of it to one person because one person is in the hospital and the other had another issue. The person is still texting me saying they need me to do the assignment asap and they are waiting for my report. The number they text me on was a txt free app.

I also got a check claiming to be from Talbots Survey Inc. for $3,757.50 I just don't understand how they would benefit if I cashed this check and do what they're asking.

They benefit by you using your bank to cash the check and buy money orders or send cash by western union. The check bounces, and you owe your bank for the amount while they receive the amount you sent. Since you would use cash they are off the hook and you owe the bank for the bounced check.

I just received same letter for amount of $3,755.50

I received the exact letter from these scammers. I was checking the info on the instructions and the Check they sent me for $3,735.50. I knew this was very suspicious. The letter was stating they sent me $3,745.50 but the check had a an amount of $3,735.50 and was dated 06/21/2014. The check was supposed to be drawn from JP Morgan Chase Bank.

we just got one in the mail to do the vanilla cards. They gave a 888 number to activate the check first before using it to buy the husband is going to do some massive research has first

They all write bad checks. Never cash take to police dept

So there may be a new one going around i recieved a text have no clue how they got my number but they said a friend was in need of a nanny i wanted the job the said the days and hours age of the child and said they were moving from australia and would need my honesty and everything this went on for days they just asked for my address to send a check so they could secure my position with them and so i could buy them food for their arrival. They then said i should get the check today deposit in my account and then go get a money pak and give them the numbers and they will have a store manager they hired here do their shopping they sent family photos and all BEWARE !! Pretty sure its a scam

My niece just got the EXACT same offer from the Australian family. Offered $350 per week, "here's your advance and money for food" "jk our estate manager will get the food, just send the pin numbers to him" whole nine yards. Who needs $2,540 worth of groceries? Full on BS.

ONG, I just got the same thing. I think they got my number from care. com I've was looking for dog sitting jobs.

Received a cashiers check today. It's from a bank in Florida with the correct routing number but the bank Account number isn't even long enough. It's totally fraudulent. Scary thing is I know friends that have mystery shopped but it was legit, so when they emailed me I was excited but I double checked a few sites and found this post. Warning signs:
Broken English
Duplicate emails received.
Email address not traceable
Check is printed poorly
And bank numbers were not long enough ' I called the bank the routing number goes to and no such account found. BEWARE

I received a letter in the mail today that said that I was to evaluate the local Wal-Mart which through up flags cause there is like 10 Wal-Mart here where I am living so it was funny but than I saw there was a supposable a cashiers check included for 1397.30 which made no sense to me cause if I didn't work for it my mom said you are not entitled to money that nothing is free in life which I have grown up to say is true. So any ways I called the bank it was drawn on which was APPLE Federal Credit Union in Fairfax, VA and not to my astonishment it was guess no good BOGUS so I contacted the local police department and turned it all in to the police but I bet they wont find out who is doing this cause it just goes to a block or dead ends as always lets see how many more I get in the mail since I responded to the e-mail I bet a bunch will let you know but please listen to the voice in your head when your self tells you something is wrong than something is not right with the situation honestly

I received a check for 2850.00 I was to kep 550. And the email the rest to Ciara Corrbett out of Atlanta Ga. So what did I do I found her facebook page. It doesnt take much to find the. I also caled a gentalman and he said it was a scam and they used his business. Turning over tomorrow.

Just got an offer for 300 per service, just send them a resume. From Shelley Sandler, supposedley of Dog Harness Innovators, through Linked In so I would think it's a job offer. I replied that I am reporting them to the FTC.

Please report this to the FTC at so it goes into the database that investigators use.

Your blog comments don't go into the database.

My facebook account was hacked last week and my friends and family were asked to send $$ so I could return home from the Phillipines. I was supposedly robed at knife & gun point. I was at work and one of my friends showed me the posting. They tried to get $1800 from each person on my friends list, even my 14 yr old granddaughter. Here is where they wanted the $ sent to:
37 Edsa Cor. Boni Avenue
Mandaluyong Metro.

I too received a check for 2875., I have to western union to another country. Please anyone who reads this, please beware.

I received in a USPS 3 day priory mail envelope, a check for $2,950.00 in which I was instructed to cash the check and go to Walmart's Money Gram and send $1,290.00 to a Daniel Guy Fatherree in San Francisco, CA and the same amount to a Preshauna Nicole Hooper in Stockton, CA. Mystery shopping I did some years ago, only paid about $25.00. Sounded great to be getting $300.00. However, what made me take a second look what a statement made in the form letter that said to let him know if there was not a Walmart or Money Gram place where I live. Really? They should know if there's one here. Right? Also, I had not applied for a mystery shoppers job. So there you go! The guy that signed the letter and gave his email and cell number's name is Jeff Burton. I have reported to all places I could. What they do with it, is not my problem. All I know, is, I did not email or text this guy so he doesn't have my number or email, than goodness! The old saying, if it's too good to be true, then it probably isn't, has some good standing!

Well..... anyone who would send a "cashier's check" for $2875.00 and than actually expect that $2600.00 be western union to them back in Turkey, may need to work on their scammer skills

Need credit report

Get your free credit report at By federal law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three nationwide credit reporting bureaus. Watch this FTC video to learn more.

Shoppers should always check with the MSPA for legitimate and credible mystery shopping companies. And, Jancyn is one of them!

This is not correct. Most companies needing this service hire investigative firms which are not required to be registered as "mystery shopping" companies.

Wow to many scams

Just received a check?? for $1986.35 from Amazon International, Inc. It was mailed from Spain, but has no forwarding address. Be careful out there!

Just got one today regarding "mystery shopping for Walmart. I notified Walmart, and they completely disassociated themselves with this scam business.

I became suspicious when the "sentences" were kind of "foreign" written. The words did not make sense in a sentence.

Just received a check for $2,473 from Nboqpx f s 39309; Louisville,KY 40233-9309..P.O.C. has a Huntington Park;CA. area code(323)..My "payment" is to be $300; and gee; they want me to purchase a $50 cashiers check and two(2) separate $1,000 Money paks..oh yes;they want me to hurry because the $$ from the money paks is for an unnamed charity...Hmmm; why do I sense a scam...

Retail Solutions Inc sent a check over $1000.00 and I would be paid $225.00 to shop Walmart and Home Depot. Deposit check now and call. Not! I reported. Please do not fall for something like this.

I just got a similar letter. I'm trying to search for information on the company, but this is the only thing that came up.

If you receive a check, make a photo copy of it. I guarantee you will find the word VOID all over it. Not only did I make nothing on that transaction, I was hit with a $12 returned check fee. Also take notice of the contact email address. A legitimate mystery shopper organization would not use a "gmail" domain. It would be a corporate domain name.

Any time you photocopy a check (yes, a legitimate check too) it's going to show up "VOID" that's a big part of check security features.

Received a check from America Survey Insurance Co, Inc for $1992.50. Envelope has stamps from Spain. I researched the addresses, names, and phone numbers and none of them match anything on the letter. It's a scam.

Received a 3880.00 check for a mystery shop from a Eng Survey, Po Box in Little Rock Arkansas. They want me to call one of their agents before I deposit the check. Then They list several businesses they want me to visit to do an evaluation of the employees customer service. Of course, they go on to say part of my assignment is to purchase a GreenDot Reload Pack and/or NetSpend and Vanilla Reload pack. Out side of envelope paid 1st class postage from Bank of America and return addy is Po Box Wilmington, Delaware. Boy, they are getting good because the check looks super authentic. Thing is I work for a couple secret shopper companies and they never solicit shoppers.

i knew this was a scam,i told my wife this.i told the guy who call me on my phone im sending the checks back and his papre work

I just received a 'cashiers check in the amount of $1786.00 the scammer sent instructions along with the check to deposit it into my bank, wait one business day, cash it out, buy an item at wal-mart, then purchase 3 $500 top of money cards. I scratch the cards and send the PINs to the email address that was enclosed with the instructions..I get to keep the rest..$200 for myself...this is a scam..the check is a fake and when the bank figures out its counterfeit its too late..beware

I too received a cashiers check for 2200.00 with similar instructions only I was to buy 4 $500 money pak cash top or cash refill cards.
Mail just came I got 2 more of the same assignments. Beware!

Hello, reading all of your comments, I'm glad that you guys share your stories for others to be protected. My mother, however, was recently a victim. She received the 'cashiers check' for almost $1800.00 and they wanted her to deposit it in her bank, cash it and buy the money cards. Then after that, wanted her to send the pins to the email address...she did it...and now she is out $1800.00. I just want to know if anyone out there knows of ways that she can get her money back on it? Money is tight for her right now as it is and this really set her back. I am furiated at the situation myself and that people out there take advantage of others, especially a disabled vet. If anyone does have information on how she would be able to get her money back, please let me know. Thank you.

Im sorry to hear same thing happen to me but didnt have checking account so I opened up account. I would have to wait 5 days to clear so I took them. Check cashing place. They called them in and found they were fake. They were confiscated. Called back to bank to tell teller were fake. I asked what would have happen if I waited for money orders to clear. He said bank would have charged me because they would have thought I was the scammer. I hope she is blessed in future.

I received a similar money order for 970 and was told to deposit it then take money out to do job then get my pay out of it then send the rest to another shopper in a moneygram or western union. I almost fell for it it seemed legitimate until I didn't have a checking account and I researched how to cash a money order with a banking account I was told to cash it at the post office but when I told the person who was suppose to be my supervisor or contact person he was adamant about me opening a bank account and was told to do it within 24hr then I after I figured it was a scam I did nothing that's when the text messages for me to hurry up and do the assignment and send the reports with the mtcn number from the Money Gram. I sent them a text saying that the bank said it was a fake money order and they kepted it and was going to give it to the police and wanted to know how I got it and all the information I was giving and wouldn't you know the information I received on who to send the money to was no where to be found the number and email was no longer available. I was so lucky because I fell for it line hook and sinker.

Thanks guys just got a check for be used for 1000. On green dot and 60. at Home Depot and the rest for myself

I got the same thing. I called and faxed the number listed on the memo and it was temporarily disable.

We keep an eye on these scams and we just had a reader send over a link from a company called "Sights on Service." They tried to mail her a fake cashier's check for $1,950 for a Wal-mart mystery shop. And then, of course, they wanted her to send back $1,550. Ah! Be careful, everyone!

Thanks you guys!!! You just saved a college student from adding $1500 to her debts! I received a check of $1,980. I was instructed to keep $430, buy $30 items from Walmart, and 3 vanilla reload cards ( and mail the PIN numbers). I'm so glad I put in this effort to research it.

Guess the ante is moving up, I just got a cashier check in the amount of 2354.15 deposit wait a day cash out and then spend 50 at walmart and than money paks and send the pins. Check is from a legit bank Fifth Third Bank...even came Fed Ex Priority Mail.

I got the same letter in the mail with a check for $2,387...same story..will file this with my other scam letters and offers.
Too good to be true is too good to be true.

what about the walmat (sic) wholesales mart corp? friend told me about $2000 check sent to be deposited, instructed to take out their $300, and get further instructions on the secret shopping details. sounds like a scam (the web addressdid not materialize on the computer, and the phone number gives a message of "cannot accept calls due to high volume of incoming calls". anybody heard of this one?

This sounds like a fake check scam. Read the article Fake Checks for advice on how to recognize a fake check scam.

I got a check for about 2000 and wanted me to do the same and send the rest back to someone in Istanbul....Then I check where it all came from. The originwas a t shirt company in ohio and also the bank....What do people do to get these people to stop? Where do I send the scam info into?

Just received this scam email:

Do you shop at Walmart?
Do you know that you can shop at Walmart and get paid for that.
And even better, keep all the products you purchased.

We are hiring today and we need you in our team.
WalmartShopper is needing people just like you to inspect our employees and to offer better services to our clients.
If we got your attention, Apply Here

You will be contacted shortly to validate your position.

And remember, you dont need experience or qualification, just an honest opinion.

If link doesnt work or email reaches Spam Folder, mark this email as Inbox.

I got the same exact e-mail today. I knew it was a scam but googled it anyway, and found this site.

I just got a "Official Check" on Citibank. The letter says I will be paid $220.00 and that I need to deposit the check in the next 24hrs. Then go to CVS and buy a Greendot Pak. Go to Home Depot spend $60.00. Call Anthony Landers. The English sucks. It makes no sense when you read the letter. Do NOT do this. If the check is bad, you're the one out the money. Why are they sending a letter with a UK postal stamp, but a New York address on the letter? Very fishy.

I got the same letter. I called the number and it was
temporary disable and the fax number was not working.
Somebody need to investigate this scam asap!

We also got a check in the mail for $2400 and were asked to put it in the bank, legit bank, legit company name, leave it for 24 hours, take the cash out, go to Walmart buy $50 and then buy 5 Greendot Pak cards and send back infor. The letter read very well, and looked totally professional. It came Fed Ex. My husband did as they were told and lo and behold the check came back, now we owe the bank $2400. I told him not to do it, not to fall for it but he totally thought it was legit. I'm just writing to help someone else out, hope nobody else falls for this crap. It's totally got me furious and if you ever saw furious, it would be my husband. He has filed with the US Postal Service, and Fed Ex, it IS mail fraud. He has made a police report and is filing other things with the state where issued. If you have fallen for this don't sit and do nothing, we need to catch these crooks.

I got scam with a memo and a check to be a mystery shopper for CVS and Home Depot.

I just received a USPS money order to do similar assignments listed above but I don't have to deposit it, I can just cash out. Do you think this is scam too?

The Bank will determine the Money Order is a fake.They will confiscate the fake.

Just received a USPS Money Order as well payable to me to mystery shop at Walmart and the accompanying letter advised me to cash out the check same as yourself, spend $50, write a report and then Western Union the balance remaining back to some other individual awaiting same in order to perform his own assignment. I went to the USPS Website and they have a link on their Money Order page to check the Serial Number of a received USPS Money Order for it's authenticity. Of course, when I did this I was advised that the serial number was invalid. In other words -- NO GOOD LOL they really thought I would fall for this crap???? First, the letter they send with the Money Order has no letterhead, no accurately structured sentences/paragraphs and the most unprofessional letter format I have ever witnessed. COME ON YOU CRIMINALS GET IT TOGEATHER WITH ALL THAT MONEY YOUR STEALING!!! PAY SOMEONE TO DRAFT YOU A COVER LETTER THAT APPEARS PROFESSIONAL OR AT LEAST POSSIBLY BELIEVABLE THAT IT WAS SENT FROM AN ACUTAL BUSINESS!

Secondly, I called this James Carr listed on the letter as the contact which rang and was answered by a recording asking me to state my name and then to please hold while they tried to reach the party I was calling (WHY THE NEED TO SCREEN YOUR CALLS JAMES CARR???), then when he answered he insisted I take it to my bank so that they could verify it. JAMES ARE YOU REALLY THINGING I AM SO STUPID NOT TO REALIZE THAT A MOST LIKELY A BANK WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO VERIFY THE MONEY ORDER IF USPS COULDN'T VERIFY IT AND THEY ARE THE DRAFTERS OF SAME!!! Of course he hung up on me then I received an email from MR. JAMES CARR.


I received a check today. I had an email address for the company. I contacted the address asking for more information and a contact person to rule out a scam. I then called the bank whose check this was supposed to be. They asked if it was a cashiers check and who signed it. Mine was signed" Nancy Davis". Upon hearing just that, I was informed that the check was a fake. Saved $970.00with a call.
These people are the lowest form of humanity.

Just got scammed by Walmart secret shopper. Bank was on B of A found out that the check did not come from them. Hope no one will get scammed by this.

I got one for $580. I'm to keep $100 and shop Starbucks using max $20 Then I'm supposed to buy a number of green dot prepaid cards for $450 denominations, and send them the pins along with my evaluation of that buying experience!
It is so convincing! I will be reporting this.

I spoke w/ a walmart supervisor Android when I gave them the supervisor greg clark name,email address they said iron has nothing to do w/ them because little a scam. They also said for me not to cash the check because little fake & to ignore this offer

Even though I am not responding to the Fake Mystery Shopping, they are still texting me and emailing me, wanting their phones checks! They are bold! I am holding onto 3 fake USPS Money Orders @$975 each and a fake cashiers check for $1700. They are not out money that wasn't there in the first place, and I have not lost my money to their scams!

I received two usps money orders for$ 975.00.!12/16/14
Brought them to postoffice and they said they looked real.Probably stolen.Sent from New York
but the money orders came from a post office in Chicago.Looking for 4 money cards and keep 250.00 for expenses.

Text them that the bank told you there check was a fake and they confiscated it and you were advised to give all the info you received with the check to the police I bet they stop contacting you. That's what I did.

I just received a check, too, for $1,750.82, but there were no instructions. It was just a check in a 2-Day Priority Mail envelope. The label on the envelope has a return address of John Fisher. I answered an email ad for Walmart Secret Shopper because I thought I remembered hearing something on the news that Walmart was going to be doing that for this holiday season. I believe this is a scam.

Hey if you gave your ssn and drivers licence number what can you do to prevent fraud from these scammers

I too received an email about being a Walmart secret shopper, so I sent in the application. After sending, I did some research and found websites like this describing the scam, so I forwarded the emails to walmart, so that they could be aware of what is going on. Then yesterday, I received an overnight Fed-Ex envelope with a return address in NY, that contained a check for $1990 from a company in Virginia and through a Bank of America account. I called the company in Virginia today (NVR) and asked about the check. They stated that this was a scam that they have been roped into. Beware!!

I just got one for $2,755.00. They want 5 $500 Money Pak cards, and I get $230. I think I'm going to contact the news so they can put it out there for others to see.

Sent me a check for $1,993.00 for 4 Money Pak Top Up cards. Buy in the amounts of $500 and $100 keep $260 and $100 bonus if done within 24 hours of receiving priority mail package. Email or text PINS. The man's name is David Jamison and his cell is 760-609-4154. Its a SCAM!

I recieved a check $1,988 dollars it was a postal money order so i took it to the post office to see if i could cash it out and the clerk informed me that it was fake and confiscated it. The instructions were for me to keep 20 percent of the check and send the rest back via western union/money gram. I was not going to fall for this scam. The sender of the check emailed me and told me if i dont send back the money they would report me to my local police. I did not send back any money and have reported them to the federal trade commision. These folks want your money so be very careful and block unwanted emails/calls.

What company was this

I just received a check for $1950 from someone who said it was a mystery shopping job but the company name on the check is earth care solar technologies it came via ups and the return address says 6096 Candice ln. Lake Charles la. 70615 and the bank account is in the same town but the last email said to go to Walmart and get 2 green dot moneypack cards for $775 each and forward the pins to them and I could keel $400. Way to much has to be a scam but almost had me fooled.

Got a check of $ 1990.00, asked to go to my bank and deposit, withdraw after 24 hours, deduck $ 450, my commission. Instructed to deduct $15.00 and purchase any product from walmart. Buy 3 moneypack reload cards, carefully scratch the cards and send PIN numbers to : Kenny Johnson and to text only 281-810-6247. SCAM SCAM AND SCAM. Thank GOD I read before falling

I recently purchased a home that was empty for a few years. Someone was using my address for these scams. I received return to sender envelopes and discovered at least 4 of these green dot scam checks. I have legitimate home business and do not want address used for fraud. Who do I report this to?

just got this email:
You have been selected to complete a survey that is dedicated to help increase customer satisfaction, boost sales performance and build staff competence, resulting in increased profitability. Your response is important and will help us to better understand the frequency and extent of customer satisfaction, perceptions and the problems related to services rendered.

Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies at their request. This is to better assist them in meeting their customers needs and satisfaction.We are looking for Agents around the country for observational evaluation surveys.

Your starting wage is $200 per assignment. Being a Survey Agent (Secret Shopper) can truly be fun as well as rewarding. If you like shopping, testing new products, and dealing with customer service associates, you'll love being a Survey Agent. And get paid $200 Cash for each assignment!!

When an assignment is given to you, You would be provided with details to execute the assignment within a timely fashion (usually 24 hours). Your payment would be sent in advance ($200) for each assignment, also the company provides you with all expense money for the assignment, survey, shopping or any other expenses incurred during the course of your task. All the necessary tools and information you will be needing would be provided to you in detail as each task is assigned.

Have reliable transportation. Be able to visit a Company, Store, Western Union outlet, Food Chain, Grocery store etc. Simply shop with them to learn about their sales, customer service, cost or any other details as provided by the company per your instructions. Report back to us with details of your experience at that business, it‘s as simple as that. Remember, you keep whatever you buy!!!


Full Name :
Physical Address :
Country,City & State:
Zip code :
Home and Cell # :
Present Occupation:
Are you 18 years or older: (Y) (N)

Best regards,
victoria brianna
Hiring Manager.
Mystery Shoppers Inc©
@All Rights Reserved

I got that same exact email just a different hiring manager, totally a scam. I have a friend that does mystery shopping and does ok for a little extra spending cash every few months. Too bad he won't share with me the company he works for. Too afraid I might get some of his work lol.

Probably. Dishonest promoters use websites and email to get you to think you’re signing up for a mystery shopping job but then it turns out you have to pay a fee.  Or you have to deposit a check and wire them money. Don't do it. Find out more about mystery shopping scams here.

I received an email response for a job i applied for on a online job board. I got the job and even spoke to someone on the phone. They sent me a check but haven't asked for any of it to be returned to them. I don't have to buy any moneypak or western union anything. Is this a scam also?


id like to know how that worked out for you. i recieved postal money orders in the mail as well for 970.00. not gonna do anything with them.

I got a check in the mail for 5000 which is for mystery shopping I thought it was bogus so I took it to my bank manager and surprisingly it was a real check real account with founds available I was soooo tempted but my bank manager advised me not to deposit it yet until he investigate What do I do

If someone you don't know asks you to deposit a check and wire money back, it could be a scam. This FTC article tells you about mystery shopper scams.

In one scam, a criminal sends a check and tells you to deposit it in your account, then withdraw cash, and send it to someone with wire transfer or pre-paid card.

By law, a bank must let you have some funds from checks you deposit within a few days. It can take weeks to uncover a fake check. It may look like the check cleared and the money is in your account, but if the check is fake and you withdrew money, you have to repay the bank.

The company listed on the check is not the company scamming you. They are using real company names on counterfeit checks. It is not legit period! If they want you to buy giftcards and send them to info then it is a scam. Not only will their check bounce but your bank will probably charge you fees if it does bounce.

When I checked the routing number on the check it didn't even match the bank on the check. The bank was Farmers and Merchants Bank and the routing number matched Wells Fargo. I think this is why the bank is no catching it because the bank routing # belongs to a real bank. But I think the bank should take some fault also. They're being scamed also and their cashiers should see the routing numbers do not match the bank on the check. . If they would stand up and take some fault a lot of this would stop It was easy for me to check the routing number how much easier is it for the banks. Come on they never should have been allowed to be deposited if the banks were doing their job..

It isn't standard Teller procedure to check the routing number on checks to see if they match the bank. You'll find that most of the time the only Routing number tellers know off the top of their heads are their own.

So glad I read all of your posts. I filled out Mystery Shoppers form online. Seemed legit. I was sent two (2) identical cashier's checks for 2,852.00 by USPS Priority Mail at the same time. Red Flag! Destinations Credit Union was issuer and Alexander Hemming was the authorized signature. I was given similar instructions to purchase $500 money paks and keep $200 for my salary. I called phone number on letter and Asian man answered (which I could barely hear) and told Me to "cash one check and hold other one until further advised"). After hanging up he then text Me and asked "how long would it be before I went to bank". I was also instructed in letter to 'email updates daily'. Needless to say, I Am ripping up checks, but not before I try reporting this. I pray no one else gets burned from these SCAMS!!!! Don't be gullable...BEWARE!!!

I called Destinations Credit Union and they have a recorded message that states "If you have received a check from DCU via Mystery Shoppers, PLEASE DO NOT CASH check. We HAVE NOT issued any checks for that company". Listen up everyone, these checks are FRAUD and SCAMS all day!

I recieved a very real looking check for $2,760.00. Instructed to deposit it in my bank. Get cash next day and buy money cards (keep $200.00 for myself) and email the pins and how the people acted in the store. Above all keep it confidential! Sounded to good to be true. Glad I looked at the FTC and on here.

I responded to an "opportunity" and now, after receiving the check and depositing in bank, suspect it to be fraud. I have decided not to wire the money or participate any further, but the rep is insisting that I wire him the money tonight. It is Friday after 8PM and live 30 miles from the nearest town. I am telling him I will attend to this on Monday during regular business hours.
Wish I had done a little more research...actually put check in bank...hope it's no irrevocable damage has been done.

I have received the same thing i deposited mines but after I got home I did my research and realized it was scam they are still emailing me but I'm not responding I went back to the bank the next day and explained the situation to them and they put notes on my account but I suggest you don't wire the money to them because you would have to pay the bank back

Just received check for $2,875 and was told to go to any MONEYGRAM store, send two checks of $1,250 to two different people in the Philippines. Now that's $2,500, they said for me to keep $300, now what do I do with the other $75? RED FLAG! I texted the number and asked for a Federal Tax ID number for my taxes and the response was "This is real not lie", exactly as I wrote it here. Something definitely not Kosher.

Omg I just got a first class mail with two checks wrote to me at $970. I'm suppose to deposit and the go wire the money to a Western Union Bank and evaluate the bank. I then keep $200 for being a secret shopper. After I would critique the bank on their customer service. I'm about to rip the checks.

You can file a complaint about a mystery shopping scam with The Federal Trade Commission and your state Attorney General. This article has more about mystery shopper scams.

I received $2185 check with no instructions... nothing. Just a check. So I googled and of course I found info on scams everywhere. Exactly a week later I get a text message asking about the check.. telling me to wire most of the money to Istanbul. And also shop at walmart. The name of the texter... taylor Ingersoll. I told him I would wire the money tomorrow lol. I figure he.frustrated me so much with this fake check, im gonna frustrate him back.

Got an email thru Facebook from a friend I have not talked to in 5 years. Said they had been doing Secret Shopper for almost a year and they were looking for more people. Just had to send my full name, address, cell phone and email address and would be contacted. Two weeks later received a priority mail with a single page of instructions and a Cashiers Check for $2315.08. Got a text confirming I received the pkg. Instructions were to buy 4 RELOADIT cards for $500 each and send them the cards/Pins and the rest was my commission. I boought the cards, emailed them the info, got home went on the internet searching for scams, went to RELOADIT online and created an account and tranfered all the money to the accounts off the cards. What a bonehead. Didn;t lose any money just time but i am sure they are very successful with this.

I just received a cashiers check for $2,310.00. Called the Wescon credit Union and verified that it is a bogus check. It was for a mystery shopper for Moneygram stores. Be aware that the name on the check was RE:Jesse Merchant made payable to me. How do I stop these bogus checks, I get them all the time and just shred them.

The FTC wants you to know that counterfeit check scams are on the rise. Some fake checks look so real that bank tellers are reporting being fooled. The scammers use high quality printers and scanners to make the checks look real. Some of the checks contain authentic-looking watermarks. These counterfeit checks are printed with the names and addresses of legitimate financial institutions. And even though the bank and account and routing numbers listed on a counterfeit check may be real, the check still can be a fake. These fakes come in many forms, from cashier’s checks and money orders to corporate and personal checks. Could you be a victim? Not if you know how to recognize and report them.

I got a letter and Cashier's check from a company called OoclInc to go do a customer survey at Moneygram. It feels like SCAM written all over it. How's the best way to confirm if a cashier's check is fraudulent?

Read about mystery shopper scams.

Sometimes scammers “hire” people to be mystery shoppers, and tell them to evaluate a money transfer service, like Western Union or MoneyGram. You get a check, and they tell you to deposit it in your bank account, then withdraw cash, and wire it to a third party.

When you deposit a check, the law says a bank has to make the funds from the check available in a few days. But, it can take weeks for the bank to discover the check is fake. When the check turns out to be a fake, you have to repay the money to the bank.

They are still at it. Rec. this morning in the mail, checks and instructions. Will give to Postmaster today when I go to town. I didn't do a thing and this showed up in the mail what the hell is going on?

Just received check a check from walmart, inc bentonville, AR for for $1992.10 cut under Wachovia Bank, NA Charlotte, NC with bogus routing number and wachovia is now known as wells fargo. Address on envelope is from Spain. Website has no trusted symbol and no copyright date. with different types of surveys to do and report and you have to activate check thru website. The telephone numbers are not legit (501)667-5168 and (501)667-5240. Really if the people can be this creative at this they need to be more creative at finding a job.!!

There is a new one running around, get paid for just reading the news, you could earn up to $1,400.00 a week. All you need to do is give your Paypal account number. Really? I thought you only need an email to deposit money in my Paypal account. Totally a scam.

June 10 2015, I was scammed by "P&O Research Company". I was sent a check for $2,853. I deposit the check and remarkable it "cleared" meaning the money is good to use. Well I did and withdrew the money thinking I was using there money to wire to Chicago Illinois. One day later my bank tells me the Check is no good and they charge me the money I withdrew. I called my bank and they said they hadn't really checked the validity of the check but thought it was good. Now I'm in the hole more than $2000 dollars. The check was remitted by Michelle Jess and I'd been texting with Alexander Hemming. It sounded so legit. Please beware of scams like this, and for crying out loud don't trust your personal bank. The amounts you see in your account are probably not accurate. I bank with Bank of America and they really stink. Bank else where do not trust what they post!

Under federal law, a bank generally must make funds available to you from a cashier’s check, certified check or teller’s check one business day after you deposit the check. For other checks, a bank must make the first $200 available the day after you deposit the check, and the rest of the money must be available on the second business day after the deposit.

But just because funds are available on a check you’ve deposited doesn’t mean the check is good.

It can take weeks to discover a check was a forgery. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.

If the check turns out to be a fake, you have to repay the bank any money you withdrew against the check.

I Received a check from the Webster Bank out of CT. I actually called the bank to verify the funds,they sent me to an automated teller. I entered the check # and it cleared!The person who sent the check actually put his number and name on the letter it came with,I called him back he told me just to deposit it and get the cash back,I told him I wanted his banks phone number to verify funds that was two days ago!By the way it gave instructions on cashing this $2845.00 check them sending the majority of it to someone (money gram transfer)in the name of Mary Camp What caught my eye was he sent me a check from Connecticut and resides in San Francisco Besides the fact that assumed it was a scam.


NOTE: They will not ask you for any of your personal information but will ask you to use a PayPal account for YOUR PROTECTION to complete secret shopper surveys. They will deposit or mail a cashiers' check for purchases which seem legitimate until the cashier's check is returned altered 2-3 days after is has cleared. You, as the consumer will then be left to deal with an overdraft with your linked bank account. These people are criminals and have made this their means of income. Please pass this message to everyone you know so that they are made aware of this SCAM... Thank you!

I just got a check for $3950 - a CASHIER'S check. I was supposed to send $1750 to two people etc.
Keeping $250 after also spending $50 as a "mystery shopper" at CVS with the remaining spent on money grams. Of course I KNEW it was a scam but decided to have a banker look at it - he verified this...

The way it works is you are told to deposit in your bank account or open a new one. The funds will be "available" in 24 hours. They offer you $100 as a bonus (in your NEXT check) if you send the money out and do the other things 24 hours after the money is "available".

Then the bank will discover it's bogus canceling the "available" money and you will be on the hook for the money you were STOOPID enough to send or spend!

MARK HOBBIT was the "remitter" and it was signed by someone else, however. He even answered the phone and responded with/to texts! I was STOOPID enough to barely HOPE the check was 4real after he responded!

The banker assured me it was a scam.

I am keeping the check for display fun!

So... Why do YOU have to send money to someone else since they sent a check to you?

And... Why can't they just send you the money via Paypal?

That logic should tip you off.

I got 2 hi-value money orders in a similar rip-off but CHECKED before doing something like cash a bogus instrument like that!

If it's too good to be true...!

I received a cashier's check for $1285.00 Was asked to deposit and contact Anthony Brown. Then go to CVS and purchase a Nets pend prepaid card for $1000 bucks.go to Homedepot and spend $60 and all purchases at this location are mine to keep.I could keep $225 for myself. This is pitiful!!!Get a real job, probably wouldnot have to work as hard!!!

I just received a check today in the amount of $2,853. At first I got excited and thought it didn't make any sense for me to only keep $200 worth of this check and send the majority of it to two other people. So of course I called the bank that was on the check and gave them the information and they confirmed that it was a fraudulent check. And it was sent to me to be a secret shopper with the name Alexander Hemming...I googled that name also and it turns out that he's an illustrator or director in Brooklyn, NY. Although I'm pretty sure he knows nothing about this. And you can say I'm pretty pissed about this too.

I just rec. an offer from "Bannest Inc. Regional Electronic", has anyone heard anything bad?? It's a Mystery Shop job..

Received a check today for $1,976.00 drawn on United Credit Union. The request asked me to shop at Wal-Mart spending $50.00 on whatever I wanted. Transfer $1,676.00 to a Joseph Griffin and then email the information to several email addresses (transfer reference, etc) and I would keep $250.00 for sending in a report about my experience. Thanks for sharing all of your stories about this type of scam.

Please report this to the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can also contact the wire transfer service and explain what names and addresses the request used.

received a postal order check for 988. letter received states that this is a surprise, to check my e-mail for info sent out.gave direction as my assignment to contact wal=mart and money gram. need to cash/deposit into my account. my payment is $150 for surveys during my shopping task, purchase items to be kept. To use Moneygram service to send balance to another shopper agent. there is deduction of 213. and transfrer the balane of 775 to another agent through moneygrand transfer. I took check to mpostal office and they kept check with letter I received. They indicate that this was a scam

I was actually dumb enough to deposit the money into my account then it told me I had an available balance of $200 (I had no money in it at the time) but it told me I will get the $1700 ($1900 in total) in about a week. I told my bf it was a scam but he said the check looks legit and since the money went through the it was legit. Well I told him to go check in the morning and it said my card wasn't active. I called my bank and they told me it was permentaly blocked because of suspicious activity so I started searching it up and as it turns out it's a scam! :( I was freaking out so I called my bank and they had no idea! So I told them that it was a fraud check I hadn't taken out any money but I really wanted to let them know! And I'm still freaking out. I'm going to report it Monday! Since most places only are open Monday to Friday i don't know where to report it. What do you think is going to happen?

You can report to the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.  You can give details such as who sent the check and what they offered. You can also report to your state and local consumer protection agencies.

If the check is fraudulent, you can't use any of the money. If you already withdrew money, you'll have to pay the bank back. The bank may close your account.

I just deposited the whole check in my account i havent wasted anything though. Well i get in trouble for that???

So I reviewed a check from this place call area mart promoters. The check was like 1,000 bucks and I keep 350 dollars and I have to have a real bank account to activate it but it says nothing about wiring any money. The check has the watermark and every thing. Is that company legit? Is the check real? Can I just cash it at a check cashing place since it has the watermarks ?

Even if a check looks right to you, that doesn't mean it's legitimate. It could be a stolen check. It could be a fake check created by a scammer.

If you got a check from someone you don't know, and they want to use your bank account for their purposes, don't do it.

The scammer might ask you to deposit the check and then ask for your bank account number. He can remove money himself if you reveal your bank account number. And then he'll have your account number.

If you deposit a fake check, the bank will contact you when there's a problem with the check.

I received a check today that was suppose to be from Walmart. The check was from a company called and the amount was $1,998.10. It was for a mystery shopper assignment and I was to keep $350.00 of it and complete assignment number 1 within 24 hours after withdrawing the funds from my account which they claimed would be available in 12-24 hours. I went as far as calling the bank to verify the account and it did say that it was active, however, that did not guarantee payment of the check. In times like these, I think that it is wrong to take advantage of people causing them to commit crimes. Shameless

Just got scammed out of $400 by' Mark Kaufman' who emailed me and texted me, how can they feel good about themselves? My husband is in school full time and we have a baby, attached to hefty medical bills. I was just trying to take care of my family and now we don't get to visit family for the holidays.

So I got a Mystery Shopper "Job" I was sent 2,250 to cash but if the bank wouldn't let me cash it I was suppose to deposit it SO of course being excited about the money an not thinking about it I deposited it. Keep in mind I had no idea that a check could bounce after the money was taken out!! 30 was to be spent at Walmart on any electronic item 200 for me an 2,050 to be wired to a Susan Esther Tyler in the Philippines, 1,000 from money gram and the other 1,000 from western union. This all from a Harvey Specter. I feel so dumb. I was about to wire it today til I saw on the Moneygram form it telling you to watch out for Mystery Shopper scams an my stomach dropped and I realized how stupid I was being. The e-mails and texts where written in broken English an there was not even a company name. I'm such a fool an I'm hoping I can go to my bank tomorrow an give them the money back an tell them what happened. Money is the root of all evil people.

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