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Beware of mystery shopper scams

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I confess… I once was a mystery shopper. Decades ago, I shopped at stores to see what they were charging for certain products and visited restaurant chains to evaluate the food and service. I wrote up a report, sent it in, and received a check for my work. Nothing I could make a living from, but it helped fill the gas tank.

Back then, it didn’t occur to me that responding to a mystery or secret shopper ad could set me up for a scam. Now I know – if you’re looking to make extra money as a mystery shopper, it pays to do some homework to make sure the job is real.

Recently, we’ve heard about a scam that begins when you get an email offering “secret shopper” jobs with retailers like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Best Buy or Home Depot. If you click through to the website, it looks like you’re on a retailer’s site – but you’re not. You’re asked to provide some personal information to get started, and told you’ll soon get a cashier’s check for around $1,500. You’re instructed to deposit the check into your account to “activate” your employment, keep $300 of that money as “advance payment” to cover initial expenses, and wire back the rest.

Problem is, the “job” isn’t real and it’s not associated with any actual stores. You’re dealing with a scammer. That check is a fake. If you deposit it, you’re on the hook to pay the bank back.

Following these tips can help you avoid a mystery shopping scam:

  • Do your research. Most legitimate secret shopper jobs are posted online by reputable marketing research or merchandising companies. A quick internet search can help you verify the company’s reputation, legitimacy, or flag any complaints. Scammers like to use the names of well-known companies like Home Depot or Wal-Mart to gain your trust.
  • Never wire money to someone you don’t know. Wiring money is the same as sending cash – once you send it, you can’t get it back.
  • Never agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know. If the check turns out to be fake, it will eventually bounce. And since you are responsible for any deposited checks to your account, you will owe the bank the money you withdrew.
  • Never give your personal or financial information out online. Guard your personal information, and treat it as if it were cash. Refrain from entering your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers online or by phone to someone who gets in touch with you.

You don’t have to pay to get into the mystery shopper business. We have more advice on finding legitimate mystery shopping jobs. If you suspect a scam, report it to the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

I received a check by mail for $2,850.00 from Skyport Systems Inc . to be a secret shopper I was to deposit the check in my bank account send $1220 Wal-Mart Money Gram to Marc Jerome Pullings in Albany CA,94706 and another money gram IN THE AMOUNT OF $1250 to Michelle Drake in Albany CA,94706 then I was to email my evaluation to davidmillz01@gmail.com then I would be contacted by text message number(626)478-0462 needless to say I did it now its costing me and my kids to be without a place to live and me owing the bank $2,850.00 .

Please file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you provide will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

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 and the Attorney General in the state where the business or person is based.

 

I got a mystery shopper email a few days ago and i provided my information. I received the check and a Money Gram transfer assignment on what to do with the check.
Direction:You are to DESPOSIT the Cashier’s Check at your bank to withdraw funds instantly or the next morning. When depositing at your bank, these are things you should write down:
• Bank name and Address
• How long it took to receive service
• Customer
• Professionalism
• Amount available after deposit
After successful completion on the first survey, deduct your $300 commission from the funds. You are then to proceed with your second customer service evaluation and this can be conducted from any CVS and wal-mart.
“MONEYGRAM TRANSFER ASSISGNMENT: You are to evaluate two different Wal-mart or cvs locations by sending funds in the location to your corresponding evaluating agents on the receiving end by using money in minutes/transfer service. The balance with after deducting your salary($300) is $1990. You will be going to Walmart or cvs. The funds will divided into 2 parts giving you $995 each. One part. ($995) will be taken to the first Walmart location to carry out your evaluation. The other part ($995) will be taken to the second CVS store to carry out your evaluation.
Below is the information for your evaluating for the first Walmart location ($995) on the reciving end.
Full Name: David Lee Address: 1531 S Grove Ave, Barrington, Illinois 60010 Below is the information for your evaluating agent for the Second CVS store ($995)on the receiving end. Full Name: Larry Martins Address: 1685 Lake Elanor Dr, Deerfield, Illinois 60015
Please take note that the Moneygram transfer fees will be deducted from each of the funds ($995) to be used for evaluation.
Note: Your identity should be kept confidential, as the job states (Secret Shopper). You should not let the bank cashier or Walmart and cvs agents know you are performing a customer service evaluation as the may not give an accurate.”
It goes on to tell me they need the conformation from Moneygram.
The people who sent it to me was from New York, the Bank is in Arizona, The people who I was supposed to send the money to are in Illinois, But the company (Freelance Market Research Analyst) is in Tennessee
They are consist texting is the funds was deposit and o let them know when I deposit it. And telling I am going to Jail and they are going to call the police on me.

If someone you don't know asks you to deposit a check and wire money back, don't do it. Once you send the money, it's gone, and you can't get it back.  If the check turns out to be a fraud, you will have to repay the bank the money you withdrew. This article tells more about fake check scams.

It can be hard to tell if a check is a forgery. Under federal law, a bank generally must make funds available to you within a certain time. But just because funds are available doesn’t mean the check is good.  It can take weeks for a bank to untangle what's behind a forged check. If a bank gives you money and then finds out a check is a fraud, you're responsible to repay the money you withdrew.

You can forward the email to the FTC at spam@uce.gov. We'll enter it into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I received an email from someone claiming to be from a mystery shopping company after I sent them my information. I knew it was a scam when they said they would mail materials to me along with funds. Beware of someone named Danielle Dufayet with an email address of daniellertc19. Below is the email:
Dear Shopper,
I received your information in good time and will like to congratulate you as a member of our working team. As a mystery shopper you are responsible for gather information, giving ideas, and improving brand standards of products and services. You have been selected to conduct an all expenses paid survey and evaluation in your area. As our mystery shopper posing as a normal customer, you are expected to perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product or using a service. While there, you will secretly evaluate things like customer service, store cleanliness and quality of service rendered. You would have to keep a comprehensive report on every activity you carry out. Some of the simple questions in your shopper's report will be:
• Were the employees friendly and courteous?
• Did you receive prompt service?
• Was the merchandise displayed neatly?
• Would you return to this store / restaurant?
• Was it easy to use the service?
That’s all there is to it! The answers to these kinds of questions are extremely valuable to any business - and they are willing to pay top dollar to find out what consumers really think. You will be providing important information that will be used to improve the quality of businesses everywhere. Where will I be mystery shopping?
The companies we deal with mostly represent large chain stores and popular franchises with hundreds and thousands of locations across the United States.
They are stores, services and restaurants like:
• CVS
• WAL-MART
• WESTERN UNION
• RITE AID
• WALSGREEN
• MONEY GRAM
• 7ELEVEN
No commitment, membership fee, special skills are not required for this assignment. Your survey packet which includes funds for the shopping will be mailed to you. Confirm in writing your readiness to complete your first assignment and let your opinion count. SECRET SHOP INC ®

Please forward the email to the FTC at spam@uce.gov. We'll enter it into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I just received the email looking for shoppers it looked legit at first so I submitted my info. I received an email a week later from a different person advising I would be receiving a check via fedex to use for my first job using western union to send money. The grammer was poor and so was the spelling. It advised I should notify them when I deposited the check and it should be done within 24 hours. The check was from a bank in Iowa and the fedex came from Texas All three emails were from different names. I emailed back that I would not be depositing the check and I would contact the local police. The local police said the best thing to do is to comment on a forum regarding this scam so here I am.

I received a heck today for $4,842.65 for Mystery Shopper gig. I called the bank and it's a real bank, the address on the check is legit but the assignment coordinator's phone number is not toll free. The check looks and feels completely real. I am in the middle of packing up important belongings for me, my husband and my two kids because we have been evicted and have to be out by tomorrow with no place to go. When my husband saw this check, he started crying hysterically and praising Jesus for a blessing.. I quickly grabbed the check and started to investigate. The instructions say for me to call my coordinator Stanley Payton to "activate" check? Then take $450 -probationary training, $100 -funds needed for shopping,$4,052.65 forteansaction at money gram, $240 for service charge money gram. With desperation, part of my wants to deposit this check so my family will have a roof over our heads now and deal with the consequences later. But the other part of me says DONT YOU DARE!!!! Advise, legally how much trouble would I get into?

 Keep in mind that 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.Beware of Fake Checks Scam. Under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you within certain time. However, just because funds are available doesn’t mean the check is good. Forgeries can take weeks to be discovered and untangled.

Received priority mail with letter and suntrust check asking me to wire all but 250 to a random "secret shopper" and return reports for my bank & the western union - which would have made sense if earlier in the letter it asked for reports on 3 agencies (not 2. Unsolicited scam, and it went to my fiancé s house under my name, not to my actual address. Big scam, bet it's targeting disabled vets/hud housing addresses. Which is even worse. Don't fall prey, this stupid scam is obviously alive and well still.

Paul Turney check $2755.00 Secret Shopper scam I fell victim to his online Craigslist scam. posting daily posts for house keeping and nanny positions.I fell victim have been arrested and is awaiting court. they refused me a court appointed lawyer. And I can not afford a personal lawyer.

I just got one of these letters also from Microsoft secret secret shopper on a check for 2750 I think I don't know what to do with the check just send it back throw it away I don't know what to do with it anybody got any advice

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you provide will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

If you have emails from the scammers, forward them to the FTC at spam@uce.gov.

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 received a check today ($1539)and the same mystery shopper letter. Already reported it to the FTC. This needs to be stopped.

just got one with the names Chris Babbit, Jonathan Daniels, and including the money gram scam for $2,875. reason I caught it was, they said $300 was mine, but to send 2500 to one place and the rest to another. Serious, if youre gonna try to scam, get your math right.

Same scam about Mystery Shopping and wiring money. Scammer guy's name is "JACK MULLER" Also mailed me a check which I tore up and trashed.

I received a check today for $2853.00 from Alexander Hemming along with a printed off letter with confidential across the front telling me to deposit in my bank account and keep 200.00 and send the rest to two other shoppers. If done in 24 hours they'll send me another 100.00...duh, who in there right mind would send out a cashier check for over $2800 to a stranger in hopes they would be stupid enough to put it in the bank and then send most of it back. Yeah bad check, thanks for this site, I knew something just wasn't right. For all you asking I would tear it up, and mark the email as spam. LOL

I received a cashiers check for 1,360.00 in the mail yesterday. I had no idea what it was and saw the note inside: This is your first shopper assignment immediately you receive this proceed to your bank to get it cashed or deposit it in your acct for at lease 24-48 hrs via ATM or your bank for clearance. Once you do that send an email to rwgood51 or send a text to 781-691-3588.

It has scam written all over it because of spelling and grammar errors and no mention of a company name anywhere. I did a google search and found this page so it looks like this is common.

I emailed the guy to ask what company he works for and to give me more info. He said it was for Walmart and he worked for Zeb Shopper Inc. I'm sure this is some company he made up as nothing about it online at all. He wasn't very forthcoming to supply me much info except to tell me it will be fun.

Hopefully this guy and others doing the same get stopped. These people need to find a real job and get off their lazy behinds. Earn money like everyone else.

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you provide will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments aren't included in the database.

Interesting that this very same group of scammers is still active and obviously continue to profit after so many years of operation. Here is the scam email sent today by 'Secret Shopper Inc.'

From: Brandon Davis

Mystery Shopper is accepting applications for qualified individuals (18+) to become mystery shoppers and merchandisers. Its fun and rewarding, and you choose when and where you want to shop Wal-mart, Western Union e.t.c . There is no charge to become a shopper and you do not need previous experience. After you sign up, We would pay $300 per assignment which would come in the form of a cashiers check along with comprehensive details in regards your evaluation assignment. APPLY NOW to become a mystery shopper®. Best Regards, Brandon Davis. Secret Shopper Inc Copyright (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved

I received an email and being well young and pretty naive i replied and sent them all my information. I received a check for $1,977 dollars in 3 days, i opened it and but didnt really look at it. I got this bad gut feeling. They keep emailing me telling me that I will be late turning in my report. I made up and excuse saying i was moving half way across the world and to please not send anything out anymore. I decided to look it up and it brought me to this blog, I did file a complaint. The guys name is John Pual, maybe i should have seen how he spelled his last name. I called and txt the numbe that was on the email and a lady answered me when I asked that I was looking for John Pual, she told me she had been receiving so many calls looking for him as well. I feel bad for her. I have tried to block him from my email but somehow it appears again and again.

I was a victim recently. The name on the email states Brian Thompson.... Thanks goodness I didn't spend anything. Really don't know what actions my bank will take. I feel so dumb because I should've known better. My advice would be to just research before depositing anything in ur account but most likely if it is legit.... U won't get anything until u have done the work.

I just got a mystery shopper "job" and a check for $2,875.00!! The name on the envelope is Charles Ragland, Middleburg, FL.He wants me to do my mystery shopper job at Western Union by sending $1250.00 to (2) two separate people, both in the Philippines, keeping $300.00 for my work. I already knew this was a scam. I'm reporting to the FTC.

I receive same email, please what is the email you receive the message from

I answered an ad in my local paper for mystery shopper. sent them my resume. I got an email today to reply back to get a check mailed out.

I also received a check for $2350.00 in the mail along with a beginner packet telling me to send some of the money by Cashier's check to two different people and use part of the money to pay for these and keep the rest along with my purchase etc. I tried checking BBB and nothing. I e-mail them and never got a reply. I was beginning to think this a scam and this has confirmed it. I was going to go to the bank to check on this but now I see it is truly a scam. So glad I did not do anything with this check. Thanks everyone.

I should have mentioned that the e-mail address was secretshopper193729 . and the name of the guy contacting me was James Smith. Smith of all people and a gmail address. Fishy

Just so you know. The name on the envelope may be a scammed person too! Somebody is using my cancelled ups account to send these things out. I only found out when several were returned to sender. Apparently if they have an account number ups doesn't check to see if it's cancelled or if it's your own. Thank goodness I'm not out any money but who knows how many of these checks were send with my name as the sender!

I just received a priority mail today with a check for 2800 and instructions. Last week I had a email sent asking for my name and address to register to be a secret shopper. I had been looking to making some extra money for the holidays (and bills) so at first when I saw the check I was really excited. But of course if it's too good to be true, then it mostly likely is. After reading the instructions from a Greg Brewer in Texas to go to a Western Union I just knew it wasn't right. Thank god for access to the Internet to double check things. Can you imagine this 50 years ago?? I'm reporting it to the FTC and taking the mail to my local sherriff dept. From what I just read, they are gonna start sending me some harassing emails.

I can almost say ditto ! I have not been harassed but I keep getting more and more of them!
Thankyou for your post.

New scammer 'names': Timothy Derrison, Daisy Walton, Dorothy Yardley, Tywan Bell and Caroline Dillon.

Watch for First US Bank. Routing number is bogus. Rodney Gray and Gregory Tucker, both of Houston, Tex, were recipients.

The above said master-mind of mystery Shopper or better said or claiming as "Walter Scott" who is located at 3788 Waterside Ct., Addison, TX 75001 is still well and operating. He/she is offering you $2920 with a FAKE cahier check with bank name but address on it sent to you by priority mail if you fall for his/her scam. He/she has a telephone number of 224-444-6337 (in Illinois) and wants you to send money to two other people (PRESHAUNA NICOLE COOPER and ARLETTA RENEE BROWN) in Reddings, California, while he/she is operating from Addison, Texas. What I don't understand is, where are the so-called STUPID and incompetent authorities? What happened to the criminal penalty for fraudulent use of the United States Postal Service?

The details you have could be useful to law enforcement.

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations nationwide.

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.

Thank you for the contact information "Bridget Small". I have reported the issue to the USPS. If I hear or see anything positive from the USPS, I will also contact the FTC and the State Attorney General.
Thanks

One thing you MUST do when you receive a fraud check through the mail, report it to the US POSTAL INSPECTOR. THIS IS MAIL FRAUD. The USPS tracks the activities of the fraudsters and have a data base that holds all of the information from victims or scams.

Got email from Robertlinden     Robert Lindenberger Sat 2015-12-19 10:29 AM Inbox To: (my email) You replied on 2015-12-20 4:50 PM. Attn: Prospective Shopper, Thanks for your Prompt Message to us. Your Application Has Been Processed and approved. The company is happy for the turn up made by you regarding the job offer and all details you sent to us in your mail has been filed and passed on to the database management department for updates on the first payment. Payment would be forwarded to you and all you need to do is to follow the instructions given to you.

JOB DESCRIPTION: 1} When an assignment is given to you, you would be provided details to execute the assignment in a timely fashion. 2} You would be asked to visit a company or store in your area as a secret shopper and shop with them to know more about their sales and stock, cost sales and more details as provided by the company then report back to us with report. But anything you buy at the shop belongs to you. All we want is an effective/quick discharging of your job and detailed reports.

ASSIGNMENT PACKAGE: Before any assignment we would provide you with the resources needed {cash} Mostly our company would issue you a check,Then we would be providing you details on here. But you follow all information given to you as a secret shopper. You can earn more which involves nothing more than shopping at a number of selected retailers and assessing their customer service and reporting back to us in a very detailed manner. We welcome you to our organization and look forward to your contribution to the growth of the organization and yourself. I will urge you to carry out the first assignment as soon as you get the the payment to handle your task. The company is solemnly behind you and will not give room for any act of indulgence. The company is wishing you best of luck as you keep working with us.

Are you able, capable and willing to carry out the evaluation assignment in a timely manner, effectively and efficiently? I will await your immediate response. A confirmatory of the receipt of this email will be appreciated as the payment to carry out the first assignment will be processed immediately . Regards, Robert Lindenberger Recruiting Department Mystery Shoppers®/Evaluator Consultant

I am assume it too good to be true since $400 for a task also I am only inactive membership of any mystery shopper site. Also before this email I was so call hired for post ads on indeed $200 weekly but before that I have to cash out 1,350 check and go to money gram and make credit card of $1,100 and give information of it. Good things I have many people knowing about scams out there and protection me from making huge mistake which could hurt my family's fund.

This is the email I just received:

"Acknowledge This Email After Reading" Dear M M, How are you today? This is to update you that you will be receiving a payment for your first retail assignment today or tomorrow via the postal service and the tracking number for the pkg is (940                 ) you can track it at www. usps. com.

You are kindly advise to Deposit the payment and have the Equivalent Value withdrawn and Note**You are to run a survey on two prominent Companies in your area this festive period, which is Wal-Mart & Money Gram money transfer.

1, You are to deduct $300 for your commission from the total payment received after completion of first assignment.Here Is The Final Update & Instructions On How To Complete Your First Assignment BELOW IS THE EXPENDITURES BREAKDOWN:- Received Payment (check of $2950) Your Assignment Salary ...... $300 (for your commission) Wal-mart ..................$50 (to be kept by you) Money Gram...................$2600 You are to send $1300 each through Two different Money Gram stores to the Secret Shopper Agent information below.Kindly make sure you deduct Money Gram fee from the balance of each $1300 before sending and Please pay for Money In Minutes. RECEIVER:- Surname: Ford First name: John Address: 244 E Ave. Lancaster, CA 93535

2, You are to make a purchase of any electronic or any item worth $50 from any Wal-Mart location in your area (to be kept by you) and is now your duty to take note of the following activities at the Wal-Mart & both Money Gram Location while sending the funds. 1) How long it took you to get services. 2) Ambiance/Outlook of the Shop/Outlet 3) Smartness of the attendant 4) Customer service professionalism 5) Reaction of personnel under pressure 6) Information that you think would be helpful 7) Your comments and impressions.

3, You are required to proceed to two different Money Gram Stores in your area with the reaming balance to perform your transfer assignment, after you might have deducted your $300 commission and $50 for the Wal-Mart duty. As soon as you have done this, You are to e-mail me the following information below: 1,The name and address of the sender 2,The reference number of each transaction (8 digit) 3,The exact amount to be received after deducting money gram charges from each $1300 NOTE: The transfer charges should be deducted from the available balance. you are to email me back the reports once you complete the assignment.. Best Regards, Daniel Whitmarsh Consumer Research Group Mystery Shopper®.

These are useful details for a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

I was contacted after they saw my details on LinkedIn. The person who has been contacting me is Michael Thompson. I thought it was odd that he was contacting me from a gmail address (mike.marketresearch@gmail.com), despite the fact that he has a corresponding photo. Over the weekend, he followed up asking if I'd received his prior email. I suppose I had, but I was busy spending time with my family over the holidays so I found this a bit pushy.

When the check for $2,750 arrived, I was provided with the following breakdown:

* BELOW IS YOUR EXPENDITURE BREAKDOWN:-

You have been sent your payment . You are to deduct:

--NIKE accessories shopping--

Shopping expenditure - $200
Assignment Salary .......$300
Amount to send through transfer to Tester......................$2,150
Transfer fee Charges and Transportation....$100
Total............................$2,750

I actually googled the cost of the items I was asked to purchase and there is no way they cost $200.

Here are the names of the individuals to whom I was asked to wire money:

Please send $900 through Moneygram transfer to tester #2

MR SAMUEL JOHNSON
501 Elizabeth Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07201

And Please send $900 to Tester #3 through Moneygram transfer to ;

MR Andrew Martins
2201 North Sam Houston Pkwy,
Houston, TX 77038

And send the remaining balance to tester # 2 through Moneygram transfer to ;

MR SAMUEL JOHNSON
501 Elizabeth Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07201

As others have commented, the bank exists and the routing number is correct, which means the checks must be the problem. From the start, I had a problem with a few things:

In addition to the gmail account, the emails themselves were riddled with typos. Also, the check was from Bailey Plumbing, Inc. in Durango, CO, yet it was sent from Daniels, NJ in a plain envelope with no logo, no return address and no transmittal letter. Lastly, I was asked to complete my assignment 'within 24 hours,' which was the oddest request of all.

After coming to this site and reading others' experiences, which are oddly similar to mine, I responded that I was withdrawing from the 'assignment.' Thanks all!

Got the same scam and knew the minuet they set me a personal email, here is part of the first email and this should be your first clue this is not for real!! I played along to see what they were going to do and yes I got the 2 money orders with the address in Philippians to send money orders to. And here were are today as I have reported this and hope they can stop them before they do some poor person some real damage. If it's to good to be true then is not for real!!!
How are you doing today?

The Board of Directors of the K-Mart Mystery Shopping Company uses this medium to congratulate you on the approval of your application, it has been forwarded to our personnel department for processing. Your information will be forwarded to our clients as one of our new survey agent immediately, as soon as they have any job for you it will be communicated to you through us.

I will be willing to work for your company hope you can keep me as a worker for you guys.

Yes, I received an email regarding Mystery Shopping. The second mail explained to me what I would be expected to do. They told me I would be getting a check in the mail and yes, Walmart. Well, I didn't respond to their email so they never sent the check. These people need to be stopped. I also, had some guy talking with me on facebook. I am in many work at home groups. He was telling me about this job and I was hoping for it to be true. I did give him my address, but somewhere in between that time and a few minutes later I delete him. I know it was a scam. I did get close to a $500 check in the mail. I called the bank an the girl told me it is an online scam and that the FBI were now involved. I asked what I should do with the check and she said it was up to me I could tear it up if I wanted. So I did. They need to be stopped.

I just received a check from the Kmart Mystery Shopping Company as well.. Im so glad my friend told me to google it and your site came up.... thanks

I received a check Saturday for $1900. It appeared to be from City of Surprise AZ and was even signed by an actual employee with the city. I was told to deposit the check and let them know once the funds were available. I told them I was not going to deposit it but would instead cash it. When I responded back that I had the cash, the reply from the text said "This is not a working number". Of course I did not cash it or deposit it, I just said that to see what they would say. Be aware!

I got the following email, which I thought was legitimate because it came from Kmart.com and the "click here" part took me to a Sears Holdings website that looked legitimate. I gave them my name and address and email and phone number, but nothing else. I was contacted by cell phone message. After reading several things here, I responded to text message that I had second thoughts and wanted to be removed from their list. Then I blocked the number.

The name used is Steve Morrison, phone number 267-629-2377. I did a reverse phone number search and just got the area of Doylestown, PA. At least I quit before I got or gave any checks out.

We have a job survey and we need you in our team. We are hiring secret shoppers. No experience needed, just an honest opinion. The job requires you to shop and evaluate our employees. You will get paid to eat, shop and keep the products. For more information and sign up form click here Good Day, Kmart Ltd

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

hello all,i received the same apparent scam as "pebbles" above who posed on february 1, 2016 -

on january 27, 2016 i received an email appearing to be from kmart.com - and i'd never received ANY emails purporting to be from kmart.com (whereas fake WALmart emails i have seen all the time), specifically, and this came at a time when i had shopped at kmart for the first time in years, so it was either a coincidence ...or an employee of kmart had possibly harvested my personal information...

i was also directed to a webpage that appeared to represent "sears holdings," app.schemr.net/jobs, and because it didNT ask for my social security number, or bank account info, i did give my name and cellphone number, and i was later contacted by cellphone, by someone claiming to be Michael Archer, 828-355-5548, and told i'd been approved, and asked to reply to confirm ...unfortunately, i DID reply and confirmed my name ...i don't know what will happen now, but for starters if i receive any check, or am asked to wire money, i am NOT...i'm so grateful for this website, being able to look things up, and to PEBBLES above for sharing her experience...

best of luck everybody...

I just received a text yesterday at 3:31pm from 832-604-3030 that goes like this "Good day, This is Michael Archer from the Kmart secret shopper program. This is to affirm that your application has been approved confirm receipt of this text". I did response back to confirm but I'm very thankful for this website alarming others so they don't fall for the tricks.

I too am so gullible.. its awful. I responded to an email I got and asked just for my name, address and phone number. I thought well maybe its real because I was recently as kmart. I signed up, but i never heard anything back and then i got a text to confirm receipt, i replied with a yes. Still nothing, then 2 days ago i got just a typed letter with a cashier's check for $2980. Said you can deposit this check into you your account via, ATM, phone or whatever basically. My husband said let me do some research on this. Well i have been doing my own research and its like... where do these people come from...man i am so gullible. I did not deposit this cashiers check. However, the letter stated that i were to go to Kmart after the check cleared the next business day and buy a product i needed for at least $50. Then go to 2 different Walmart's and send money gran to 2 different people with American names at 2 different locations in TX. These 2 people had 2 emails attached one was a Gmail and one was a Yahoo account. The letter stated to make sure you DO NOT let the Walmart employee know who you are because you are a mystery shopper, i was SUPPOSED to send them $1300 a piece and keep $400 for myself. I googled the name and nothing happened i used 411.com to locate the number which i have received the text from. The disposable phone i assume was reported from AR. So the guy that is contacting is " Michael Archer ". I received a text yesterday, stating that the first assignment have been delivered to your mailbox via USPS check your mailbox for evaluation package and confirm receipt of this text - Michael Archer. WTF man! Clearly sending me $7.00 kind of certified mail is scary. Im not desperate for money but extra money always helps. The check is just sitting on my counter. I need to frame so i never fall for this again. Thank you " CTRL F" for helping me locate spam artist Michael Archer, bunch of jerks! probably laughing as i respond or while they are putting labels on my envelope. You may have my home address but you will NOT steal from me...

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