Mystery shopper scam strikes again

Share This Page

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 ftc.gov/bizopps.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

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.

What should I do about these people, they keep emailing me about this check they sent. Of course it was an exceeding amount. I've already filed a complaint.

I was sent job offer from a guy in Waco TX. He said he was with some construction company and he needed an assistant to help with things in my area. I was okay with it until he said " I juse need your account number, and bank log in so I can make a mobile deposit and keep track of what you do with my deposit" I texted him back " I wouldn't give that information to my own mother, why would I give it to you?" Then he said that we needed to establish trust for the job to work. I said if you need access to the account then you should have a business account that your employees use for your jobs. I'm not doing this." Haven't heard back...

You know there's more ways of cashing a check or money order other than your bank right. Why would you even cash a check or money order that you know may be a scam at your bank. Especially if it's a money order, you can take money orders to a post office or Walmart and find if they are fake before you go to your bank and give criminals access to your account.

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.

I have on a 2800 dollar check it says to deposit in my account. Take 600 out thats my commission 1000 go to money gram to one person and a 1000 to another is this a scam lisawalgreenreport is the email they want me to send my report is this a scam

It sounds like a scam. If someone you don't know sends you a check and tells you to deposit it in your account and then with draw money, you're probably going to lose money.

The bank has to give you some money within a few days, before it knows if the check is really good. If the bank gives you money, and then finds out the check is fake, you will have to repay the bank all the money you took.

Do not deposit this check. I just received one and it asked me to do the same. Part via Money Gram and part via Western Union to be sent to the Phillipines and I get to keep $50 worth of shopping plus $300 salary. I used to be a banker....the moment you deposit this check you are an active part of a money laundering scheme. DO NOT DEPOSIT THAT CHECK. I filed a report with the FBI.

I also had the same thing happen. I took it to my bank FRAUD

I got similar usps priority letter with official check drawn off a bank in NJ. The return address is in CA and the 2 people to send/wire the 1k each are in CA. Both of the addresses are houses listed for sale . Scammers don't need legit address if funds are wired. What is the bank of your official check? Did u get check from priority mail US postal service and what are the names of the 2 that will receive funds? Is Asia Jackson one of them? If this was sent usps, it's a federal crime and you should report this online with the post office. Fill out online form to be investigated.

me too!

I got a check with a leteer stating to call a kenny gorge so call mamanger to explain this type of thing and he was rude and would get upset when asked questions! I didnt get the whole thing but it was crazy! I tore that check up!but it was a check of 2563 it wouldve been nice to have that money then again alot scammers out there!

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 calls..amazon 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 ftc.gov/complaint. 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 just got one from Wal-Mart inc. For 1998.00 an had the same instructions. I ripped it up an threw it away bc I would never deposit a checklike that in my acct for one an for two its a scam. Im not gonna freeze my bank acct for stupidity nor if I went to cash it at walmart im not trying to go to jail for it.. the ppl that sent itsgould be sued for even sending ppl stuff like that. The check os a real check but they want u to do this an that. Activateit an all before spending it .

How are these people getting in contact with you

Being a Private Investigator I call both the bank the check has printed on it and the company issuing on the check such as last summer I got a check for $1897 from Texas A&M and was told that this was the second time this has happened, I advised them that they should contact their bank as the account number was correct but the check number had too many 9's in it. To date I have received and checked out $43,600 in bogus checks and Postal Money orders and I will offer this advice, "DO NOT CASH THEM" CALL YOUR LOCAL OFFICE of the U.S. Secret Service.

I keep getting check to deposit and wire money to parties that apart of scam. It says mystery shopper. they keep email and text me over the money.

Just received a cashiers check for $2865 from Lattern Survey Corp. Chase said check was valid. I am supposed to do a mystery shopper assignment at a local Walmart checking out their money gram service and after withdrawing $385 have the balance sent to a person in Cyprus.

Even if the bank says the check looks good, the check could turn out to be a fake.

If you deposit the check and withdraw some money, and then the bank finds out the check is no good, you lose. You can't get back the money you sent, and you have to repay the bank. Please read this FTC article about fake checks to learn how to protect yourself.

Hey what bank was on you check ? Was it ascentra credit union ? And we're your able to cash the check

I got the same check, could you please tell me what happen in your situation? Is this check for real and did it go ok?

I got Exactly the same thing.I deposited the check,but I alerted my Bank of the potential FRaud.I am waiting to see if the Checks good.I will not be withdrawing any moneys against it till I find out if its good.Then I will do as instructed.If its legit,I have a part time Job.But I will not withdraw any money until the Check proves to be good.

I just got a check for $2950.49 I was instructed to deposit it and keep $300.00 for my pay and $50.49 to transfer the rest to two different people just wondering if your check was good or turned to be fraud I was thinking of depositing my check but not withdraw any of it until I know if it clears or not

I got three of the scam checks. I called local police couldn't help, local FBI wouldn't help, filed claim with www.wc3.gov (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

I just got fedExed a check for 2,350.00. They wanted me to deposit it into my bank account, do the walmart shop and then send 2,000 by money gram to a guy in michigan. I knew it was a scam.

I got a check after a dozen emails and it even says certified. It did involve the USPS. I saved everything the check , the letter inside and all emails. Who should I send this information too. They wanted me to deposit it in my account , wait a day, withdraw all but a few hundred and western union back to them. This scam is so old, i cant believe they are still using it

If the scheme involved the U.S. mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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??

the same thing just happened to me but they were postal money orders sent they look real but when they were returned to my bank as altered i had no idea.now my bank account is overdrawn $2,000 i don't know what to do please help if anyone knows where to start thank you.

You are responsible for the checks you deposit — even though you don’t know they’re fake.

Under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you within certain time. But just because funds are available doesn’t mean the check is good. It can take weeks to uncover a forgery. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check ahave been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check. 

 

This just happened to my son. What is the best recourse? The bank froze his account out of suspension. We are taking the emails and the fedex tracking to the bank on Saturday. How is depositing a check in his account helping them unless they wanted him to send money back. I knew it was a scam when he sent me the emails from a gmail account saying they are from Nike Inc. Contacted Nike Inc who said it sounds like a scam and they just took the information. It seems like they should have something on their website to tell people to beware.

In addition to talking with your bank, you can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

wow, i lust found this bit of info out about me being responsible for the monies even if the bank released the funds i just got a check & thank goodness i was told, because i dont have that kind of money to be paying back!!

It sounds as though I may have been scammed. After some emails I got a cashiers check from a major bank via usps priority. I presented it at the major bank with 2 forms of ID after it was examined they cashed it. I completed the job. Now I get another assignment from the same people. I am asked to send moneygrams to 3 people in the Phippines. I checked with the bank. Check is fake. Now I wonder if the first assignment was ligit and used as bait. The bank that cashed their own cashier check should know if the check was ligit shouldn't they ?

Banks generally must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, most other governmental checks, cashier’s checks, certified checks, and teller’s checks a business day after you deposit the check. For other checks, banks must make the first $200 available the day after you deposit the check, and make the remaining funds available on the second business day after the deposit.

But just because funds are available on a check you deposit does not mean the check is good.

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

Hello the same thing just happened to me. Were you able to solve it? I am trying to find a solution.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem like there is much you can do. I deposited 2875 into my U.S. bank account. Fortunately the bank recognized the next morning that it was fraudulent and declined the check. Unfortunately they blamed me for depositing the check into my account. They closed my account and reported to check systems. I called local law enforcement, the F.B.I., the F.T.C, the attorney generals office, you name it I called them. Not one agency had any interest in what I had to say. That's why these people continue to rip innocent people off, because they know they won't get in trouble. If just one of the agencies acted as they are sworn to do. Then it wouldn't be so easy to rob people that are vulnerable and trusting. Best of luck

Pages

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy