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Mystery shopper scam strikes again

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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.

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.

Not only that but you can actually be imprisoned for depositing the check. I deposited a check someone gave me for furniture i knew the girl and it was supposed to be from her boyfriend. It was t his account and when I went to the bank 4 days later I was arrested and spend 3 days in jail.

It happen to me to.and samantha ng was useing me for the money and my bank account.she never paid me back for it

I just received a letter today and a check for $1,980.00 stating that i am to cash the check then deduct for an assignment that i am suppose to purchase Steam Gift Cards worth $1550 or $1650 and saying that if i get the job done within 24 hours i get a bonus. I am to scratch of the back of the cards to reveal the codes, then send pictures to an email. The check looks legit, has my full name on it , its from Western Central Georgia Bank. I'm not sure what to do if to call that exact bank and see if they have that check on file or something or file a fraud complaint.

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.

I recived one for 2850.22 today and went to cash it not deposit it like they told me and guess what it went thro they told me that they will cash any check that said cashier on it cause they are grented to get there money and they did guess what bank it came from first coummity bank and that is a reptiltle bank and it had water making on it and everything and when you held it up to the light it had that spot to show you that is was real so if they are scams they are paying your bank the money and the checks are going through the person that signed my check is a multi millleoner

Some fake checks look so real that bank tellers say they are fooled. Scammers use high quality printers and scanners to make checks that look real. Some checks contain authentic-looking watermarks.

The counterfeit checks could be printed with the names and addresses of legitimate financial institutions. And even if the bank and account and routing numbers listed on a fake check are, the check can be a fake.

These fakes can be cashier’s checks, money orders, corporate checks or personal checks. 

So are you saying you cashed the check and kept it. The way I see it if they stupid enough to send strangers checks they deserve to not receive a dime back.

Omg... What bank did you go to.

what company did you sign up with it? please help me

You got to cash the check and get the money?

Where do you can it I need to go there asap

You are responsible for the checks you deposit or cash. If you deposit or cash a check that is no good, you must repay the bank or check cashing company for the amount you took.

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Yes I got the same thing kinda. I called the bank that's on the check and they told me it's a scam.

receive something similar in mail yesterday, is this a scam

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!

I had this happen yesterday and I ripped up the check and threw it away and now they said you should hear from attorney shortly

and did you hear from an attorney? i just received an envelope with a check and a letter no number just emails

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 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 brought them to the postmaster here where I live and he sending them to the postmaster general.

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 received one from navy federal Credit Union for $1696 is it real or not?


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