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.

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...

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 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

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 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

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 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 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

You can file a complaint with the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

With all due respect. Perception of The federal governments responsiveness to these issues is that they are as effective as a wet paper bag. No follow up with victims, means no trust that anything being done to shut down these thieves.

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 just received the same thing and was scammed of course. I feel like such a Fool. But I did everything right. By checking everything out 1st. But Luke You the check was for $2850.84, check was to be deposited and then sent to 2 separate people from a WAL-MART MONEY GRAM. Nagged me death too. Name on check & email was John E. Turner and the no. They were texting from was Illinois. The money grams were to be sent to Taneshia Nicole Tatum Torrance Ca. For $1220.00 & Ronald Jerome Johnson Torrance, Ca. For $1260.00. And $300 was for Me + $70. For cost of Money Grams. The Letter & Check was sent in a USPS envelope from a Flight School in Addison Texas. I took everything to Band & they've done NOTHING to help & filed with my Local Police Dept. I wonder too if WALMARTS not in on this somehow? Just seems weird to me. I did do the real secret shopper few yrs ago too. Thought I did everything right... Don't really no what to do now?.

You can report this to the FTC at The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You can report this to the money transfer service you used. 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.


That's good advice but it does nothing for the victim who is now out thousands of dollars. Usually these victims are already in a place where they are living paycheck to paycheck. Even worse someone who is facing shut off notices or things of that nature. Now they find themselves in an even worse situation. They/we are looking for law enforcement agencies to protect us and recover our stolen funds.

Just got that one in the email. Funny, the gmail address it was sent from was a "Tom Hackler". Tom HACKER is more like it!!!

What was the email address..i received a lot but not sure which ones are fake

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.

My dumb a** went and opened an account with the cashier check, the only thing is that i pulled out $900.00 from the 1400.00 check.And i spent the money .I figured if it turns out to be a scam, i was going to pay my bills. the funny thing is that my bank ran it thu they system and it can back with a passing verify number,so now i got to pay the bank

I just got a cashier check in mail and my name as payer.. Can i cash it an not have bank issue's??

If you got a check from someone you don't know, and they tell you to deposit it and take out money to send them, it could be a scam.

If you deposit a fake check and take money out, and the bank learns that the check is no good, you will have to repay the bank yourself.

I received a check just like this today would you mind telling me what happened after you deposited it and spent the money? Before I do it LOL just in case it is a scam

Right that is what happen to my son bank cashed check and then we had to borrow the money to pay the bank or they was going to prosecute my son Wal mart should have to pay this back and i think the bank should have check the check out before cashing his was for almost 2000.00

I got one today

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.

I just got a check that's pretty much the same as yours. The 7 vanilla cards and 3,787.00 check too. Check looks totally real. They suck. Get jobs jerks scammers!

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

Got the same thing, figured it was fraud but thought i would see what they sent. got a check for $2950.00 routing number was fake.

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.

I got the same check, what will happen if you cash it at wal-mart? Please help

If someone you don't know sends you a check, and tells you to cash it and send them money right away, it's probably a scam. The check is probably a fake. A lot of puppy sellers, and 'mystery shopper' job scams use fake checks to rip people off.

A bank might cash it, but that doesn't prove that it's good. A bank can get fooled by a fake check. Eventually, the bank will find out the check is no good, and you'll have to repay all the money.

This FTC article about fake checks has more tips.

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, after reading the posts on here, i guess i got off pretty lucky. I am not required to send ant money or card ibformation to anyone. i was shocked when the priority mail was opened and a check for $3,995.00 fell out. the instructions were, that i deposit check, thhen after funds have cleared, go to an Apple store and buy a ton of stuff, evaluate store, clerk, and merchandise. it never told me what i was to do with this stuff. the only thing that concerned me was that i first, only ever submitted a job seeking intent to career builders, no where else. second, i would lose my disability and medical coverage if i had that kind of money in my bank account. the three people i showed this crap to, smelled a scam from the start. I looked up the bank, navy federal credit union, and called them. the lady reported that the serial number of the check was not in their system, and so the check is bogus. the envelope and contents sit on my desk, waiting to find out where to send them.

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

Well they tried again. Very well organized with The Evaluation Forms and how to send monies. I thought it wasn't a scam until I read all the Blogs. Same identical situations. Be very cautious. Don't fall for it. The letter states not to do anything until monies clear bank. It could take weeks for that and they want their report after two weeks.

Ok so can anyone tell me if OFFICE CREATION SURVEY INC is a scam I have a letter with a check as well with a phone number text number and I also see how the check is suppose to be distributed. I have contacted the phone number and have talked to an actual person about it and they want me to do a job in my area for about 5 stores I haven't paid anything to these people at all they are paying me as a secret store evaluator I just want to know if this company or name is legit

Some scammers will send you a fake check and tell you to deposit it and then use the money for a 'job.' If you spend the money, and then the bank finds out the check is fake, you will have to repay the bank for everything you withdrew.

When you deposit a check, the bank gives you some money within a few days. That doesn't prove the check is good. It can take weeks for a bank to find out whether a check is good. If you withdraw money, and then the bank finds out the check is fake, you will have to repay the bank.

I received a check yesterday for $1485 and it had pnc bank written on it. It was delivered by ups.. not thinking I deposit it into my account last night, but it's the weekend so It won't clear until tomorrow, wondering what can I do from here to not get caught up in any mess

If you think the check is fraudulent, you could contact your bank, explain what happened, and ask about what to do.

The person who sent you the check may ask you to send money back. If you do that, and the check is fake, you will lose money. If you think you're dealing with a scam, please report it to the FTC at

I recieved a gmail from a guy saying he found my resume. he asked if i wanted to do it and he said ill get the check tomorrow... idk if it's a scam or not because hes saying he wants me to deposit the check into my bank account and the funds will be available in 24 hours. how do i find out if its real or not. he said hes sending 400 for my evaluation and in total 2630 for the tasks including the 400

This could be a scam.

Some criminals recruit victims with job ads that seem like they’re for legitimate jobs, but are not. The scammer will ask for your bank account number, or tell you to open a new account, and then send you instructions about receiving and transferring money. Law enforcement calls the victims ’money mules.’ If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

You are responsible for the checks you deposit.  It can take days or even weeks for a bank to find out a check is fake. By law, the bank has to give you some money in a few days, but that doesn't prove the check is good. If you deposit a check that turns out to be fraudulent, the bank will expect you to repay any money you took out.


Got one as well. $2969.18 Deduct $350 and then buy $50 at Walmart and keep. Then money gram to some dude. (908)516-0514 I may play along since I have a 10 day clearing policy. It will go into a savings account and sit. After 10days, I'll then make the call. From Darrell Palin Off Northwest Ga bank 898 Battlrfield Pkwy Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. 30742 Can't wait to do a google Earth in that location. This will be fun.

I meet girl online an we talk off an on several weeks. I want to meet her she agreed. Got to get a gate pass 350.00 reason protect models run background check on me. I got email address an name an pic. How do check an know for sure.

When you meet someone online, you don't know who they really are. They can tell you any story. If you talk for a while, then they start asking for money, it's probably a scam.

Received 1 for $2300 - keep $300 and buy 4 gift cards $500 each at either BestBuy, Walmart and keep them for next assigment. Doesn't ask to send money to anyone...
Check came tracked with USPS tracking # and I received a bunch of emails with tracking updates... Also received an email from Rodney Arndt ("Amazon HR Manager") saying that the check had been receive so to start the assigment... Not sure if real or not...

I got the same thing. A cashier check to either deposit or cash. Keep $300. Buy 3 OneVanilla Cards at $500 each from with Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, or 7Eleven. Take a picture of the cards front & back & email them, along with a report of: store details, checkout time, cashier's name and professionalism to retailsurvery@     . There is a phone # to text that I received the package, which was sent priority mail from Florida. Then, I am to keep the cards for the next assignment. Did you complete the assignment? Did it end up being a scam?

I went online looking for coupons and didn't know I would get a check for $1,800 to be a secret shopper, so I said something wrong, so I googled it and what do you know it's def a scam, I have a job I don't need a secret scan job... I'll be tearing it up... Void

Can I cash check at regular check cash then get money Oder ?

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.


Hey a family member of mine was just scammed by this "James Carr" figure. I would appreciate if you'd be willing to cooperate with me on gathering information on this fool. Here is an email where you can reach me. . I'm mostly interested in seeing if he switches emails between victims or continues to use the same emails.

We don't publish personal information, like email addresses, on the blog. If you think you encountered a scammer, you can report it to the FTC at

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.

Are the Cashier Check's from the IFUC FACKE

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.

The exact thing just happened to me. Same company P&O Research Company, this Alexander Hemming person. I was sent a cashier's check for $2,970. Deposit check, make cash available within 24 hours. Withraw $2,660, deposit to BofA. My bank found check to be forgery after 5 days or so. I am out/loss $2,660. No one wants to help me (law enforcement, bank, ect....). I don't know what else to do. I am composing my compaint with FTC, will be filing soon. At this point I don't have any ope that I will get my money back. I am such a fool to fall for this. What ever happened to your cass?

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.

Friend just got scammed out of 3K. They used the name Johan Sanders, PH.D. Out of Customer Thermometer Inc. the friend was given "assignment" to purchase 3 iPhones and overnight them to a Texas address. The friend is on the East Coast and will report to FTC. Cashiers Check drawn on Wells Fargo. Friend was told the "funds were good by Wells Fargo" prior to buying the iPhones. This scam- has now morphed to phones- unregistered Apple I phones with specified amounts of money and time on them. This looks more elevated; concerned about not only low level criminals- but terrorism. If you fall for this- call Apple and alert them as well as the FTC. FBI says they can't help unless it's o ER 10k. The issue is the phones are under the friends name. Alert APPLE and give them the serial numbers ASAP.

Some scammers ask their victims to buy cell phones using the victims' name and identity, and then send the phones to the scammer. The scammer pays the victim and reminds him to cancel the contracts in the allotted time — usually 15 to 30 days. The scammer takes the phones, unlocks them and sells them for profit. This is called credit muling.

When the victim tries to cancel the contracts, he finds out he can't cancel the contracts unless he returns the phones (which the scammer took). The victim has to pay for the phones and service contracts; if he doesn't, the accounts can go to collection and hurt his credit rating. Negative credit can affect your ability to get credit, insurance, a job and even a place to live.

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.

I just got a check for $2,320 sent to me via USPS Priority Mail for me to deposit and take $300 commission. SCAM!!!!!!! I called the bank it was drawn on and it is not one of theirs. BEWARE

I just got a check in the mail with a priority mail slip the check was drawn off capital one Bank in eastern parkway. I'm not sure if it is real or not the check is for 1,870

I received my check today via Priority US Mail. $3700. I'm to deposit it and within a couple days, withdrawal $1600 two times and send each one to a different Western Union; one in the Phillippenes and the other to England somewhere.
I actually researched this before giving them my address from an email I received a month or so ago. That email was from secret.shopper98665 and the contact was markpowler20
I found a good amount of info both ways: some are legit, some aren't. Never pay for a service and don't accept a check wherein you have to w/d money and send it back. If either of those things happen, it's definitely a scam.
Part of me wishes I could afford to have some fun. Deposit the check and wait a couple weeks. But the reality is I don't want to incur bank fees for a bounced check, and more importantly, I don't want to be involved with people like this. Who knows what they're capable of since they obviously know who I am and where I live.
I also have very little confidence - especially after reading some other posts here - that law enforcement cares on any level. It's sad because so many people need to have a second job just to get by and that's exactly who these scams prey on: people that are desperate for a couple extra bucks. At some point, the most vulnerable people in our society will be fed up with being jerked around by scammers, the law, politicians, big business, Wall Street and everything else that cares little that lives get destroyed, often because victims aren't educated on how to deal with or identify a scam. That's exactly why someone like Trump is doing so well: people are sick of getting rolled by tricks like this scam. And they're sick of nobody caring to do anything about it. I personally don't think he's a good fit for President. But I certainly understand the rage that drives his supporters.

I received check for 1980.00 and to send 875. To Two different people. My contact was Adam Watson.

Just got one today to deposit a Cashiers check. Why wouldn't you just cash it? I guess you have to have a account at the bank to do this. The letter says to take $250 for services and send the rest to a guy in China. Would you try and cash this??

Sounds like a scam. Read on...

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 just got email from cause international Signed by Best Regards, Rebecca Jackson. CIS International ™ 8059 Magnolia St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 CIS International™ Copyright 2015 Wants to pay me $300. To do mystery shopper at Walmart and Sam's Club.

Please report this to the FTC at so the details go into the database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

I just received a postal money order from the same person/same address at CIS International. Did they send you a money order or a check? Have you proceeded with the assignment or did you report them as scam? If you followed through with the assignment, did it work out, that is, was it legitimate?

Got a check yesterday for $3786.50 from Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, under BNY Mellow Trust of Delaware. I'm supposed to buy six $500.00 Vanilla Cards. I knew it was a scam but this page helped to removed any doubts about it

This guy named Daniel Whales text me about Mystery Shopper opportunity. He is FedExing me a check for $2850. Im supposed to keep $250, Send $50 at WALMART and then go to MONEY GRAM. He instructed me to Deposit the check in my Acct, and email him a copy of the back receipt for record keeping purposes. One thing that is odd... there were no instruction of who to send the MONEY GRAM too... I am supposed to evaluate MONEY GRAM?? I asked him who and where i was supposed to be sending it and he said "you are not sending it to anyone." Soooo what i keep the extra $2550?
Total scam. Im turning the check over to the fraud department at my back including a copy of the email, IP Addresses, and the Fedex tracking info.

Retail secret shopper Sent a check for me to deposit I trashed it.scam

I received a check today for $2875 and was told to deposit in bank and keep $300 when check clear and send the rest to Japan i went and deposited in my account but it has a hold but the bank gave me $200 until the check clear so what do i do now

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.

This is NOT true. Banks can and will hold a Cashier's Check if the customer and/or the bank believes it to be fraudulent.
Unfortunately it is becoming easier to forge checks, even cashier's checks, making banks more skeptical about making funds available to customers right away.

I received a check for $1909.00. I knew this couldn't be right. Who in there right mind would just send someone whom they have never met a check for this amount of money. The very ne t day I got a text asking if for a assignment update, I responded with, "I'll be working on it tomorrow afternoon". The next day I received another text asking about the assignment results. So I responded with, "As soon as the check clears the bank I will continue with the assignment". They responded with, "The check is a cashiers check and is good and I need to do the assignment ASAP". I have not even taken the check to the bank for deposit, instead I am going to "DEPOSIT" it with the police department along with the letter telling me to deposit the check, keep $250 for yourself and go to your local Walmart (there are 8 stores that I'd consider local) spend $50 and what ever you buy is yours. Then go to USPS and buy to money orders for certain amounts of money and use the rest to overnight the money orders to some guy in another state. I don't think so.

I receive a check from Christopher Fuller to be a "Feedback Agent" for the Amount $ 2965.00 Dollars he text me on my cell his number is 442-600-7272 the check was from Berkshire Bank from Pittsfield MA 01202-1308. The instructions were to keep $200. Wage and $65. for transportation. He send it via USPS Priority Mail from Atlanta GA 30320. I dint deposited the check because the micro print on the side of the check you cant read them, I call the bank and they told me it was a bogus check.

scam email from secret shopper from Mark Smith his phone is 7242496702 this Secret Shopper is trying to scam peoples offer survey shoppers job. Do not fall for it.

I am writing to let you know that your first assignment package has been delivered to you through USPS.. I am expecting the assignment report along the image of cards(Both Front and back) . Please proceed to complete the assignment today and email your assignment report asap to enable us proceed with the shipment of your second assignment. Text me once you complete assignment report or for quick updates. Include your name in Text Message. Regards Alicia Voeks Would you like to earn an extra income like me without affecting your present Job. It was unbelievable until i gave it a try and I just thought I should inform you about it. I have been doing this in the last 3 months, It's seems like a life time opportunity, Its a retail survey which evaluates customers services and sales efforts. They actually need more people in the program so i thought i should recommend you. For each assigment you are paid $300.00 To Signup : Email personnelpinc           with the below details : Legal Full Name: Full address ( Inc Apt ): Your Mobile Phone Number: Current Occupation: Contact Email: It is all scam do not fall for it. Received check and Luck

I did some home work and find out it is all scam.

Received a $1750.49 from "Secret Shopper The Premier Mystery Shopper Company". My assignment was to deposit the check into my bank and it should clear in one business day. After it clears I was to go to moneygram and send 1350 to a Terrell Cameron in Ramona, California and I was to keep $300 for my compensation and $100 to use to purchase the moneygram. I was then responsible to make a report on their services ad send to email It sounded all legit to me and they sent a Cashiers Check. They texted me and told me to complete the assignment, but my bank refused to release the funds except for $200. I received the check on a Tuesday and the bank held the funds until end of day Friday. Then check loss prevention called me saying they had suspicions on the check. They won't release the funds and have taken back the $200 deposit they originally allowed at time of deposit. The return address on the USPS Priority envelope is from a Jeffery Branch in New York. Originally I thought a name of Josh ?? was dropped somewhere in my contacts which I can no longer find but I remember it welcomed me to a mystery shopper opportunity via email, i think, I was pretty excited, until my bank refused the check. I am very upset because they kept hounding me everyday to complete the job, but I kept telling them the bank had not released the funds yet. The imessage seemed robot generated and by Thursday I was getting suspicious this was not a real person. I did a white pages reverse caller search and found a report there that this number: 1-951-220-8671 scammed another person out of $2000+. I called my bank and they confirmed that the bank which the cashiers check came from has had some suspicious activity to it, so they ended up not approving it. I did spend the $200 but fortunately it was covered by my own meager checking balance, however, I had bought some groceries for the kids in my household anticipating the $400 in my account soon, but it didn't happen because the bank didn't clear the money so my account is now off by $200. Fortunately, my bank caught the fraud and I was not responsible for the FULL $1750.49 but I had to pay $8.00 service fee. I really thought it was legit with cashiers check and addresses, but I sure was wrong. Is there anything legit out there in cyber space?

received two cashiers check from secert shopper amount of 2925.37 and 2920.60 both check is flake it is 100% scam. Do not fall it. Both check is from Mark smith call him self Mark Smith. The check sender is different peoples. The name send out the check Alicia Cabrera and second sender is Kelly Hoxie.

Another scam email from this person. Do not fall for it. -----Original Message----- From: Mark Smith Ph.D Sent: Tue, Mar 22, 2016 12:42 pm Subject: Urgent Message***Pls Reply** Greetings, This is Mark Smith, Ph.D., in regards shopping assignment to be completed with the check delivered to you few days ago. Please note that tomorrow is the deadline for the survey/shopping assignment because we need to submit the details / findings from the store to our Client, Apple Inc. not later than tomorrow. Kindly proceed now to complete assignment as directed in email sent to you few days ago.Please check your spam/junk folder if message was not received, do request for it to be resent now. I await your urgent response. Regards, Mark Smith, Ph.D.

I got three checks: $2865, $2270.63 & $1740 with instructions to send a 10 min money gram wire transfer from Walmart. Send money gram info to include the senders Name and address with 8 digit reference number asap. My bank was make aware as the local police dept.

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

Comments you post here on the blog don't go into the database. thankgod my intuition wasnt feeling this....But my question ti all of you is all keep saying you received checks of amounts like $1575-3,000 right.. so whats the probelem?? Meaning..what have yall lost out on? Just cash the check and if it works youre good if jot you go home What am I missing?

When the fake checks bounce, you owe your bank the $1575-$3000 because you tried to deposit a counterfeit check and then withdraw it. You can also get into legal trouble for that.

No legitimate business is going to send you a check and have you deposit it in your account. Would you ever write a check to a total stranger and expect them to not just keep it for themselves?

It's a scam that leaves you thousands of dollars in debt. Don't ever do it.

I received an email from a Mystery Shopper company; as I do in fact do mystery shopping, I thought it might be legit. I responded and two days later I get a Cashier's Check drawn on Citizens First Bank out of The Villages, Florida. It came in a USPS Priority Mail envelope, but I noted the return address was out of Slater, Iowa. Looked suspicious, so I checked the web and found this site where others have posted. I have no intention of cashing this check, but I wanted to add my information for others as this is going on as of April 28, 2016. Interestingly, right after I answered the first email I got three other similar email messages offering Mystery Shopper jobs that are TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. The mystery shopping that I do gets one enough to buy lunch after shopping, but nothing more. DO NOT fall for this obvious scam.

So, glad I checked this out! I got a check today, May 5th 2016. Sent priority
Oh hell no

Thank you everyone! I just got out the mail today, a heck for $4953.00. I thought this was very strange that I would get this large amount and no background check on me or anything just an email.

The instructions want me to deposit it into my account and then keep $250 and withdraw the the remaining and deposit it into one of the banks it listed in the letter as a CASH DEPOSIT for the next Mystery Shopper. This is very odd and I REFUSE to follow through on this, if they want it back let them send me a letter asking for it and i will send it back!

I refuse to cash this check period. The Cashier's check if from Northwest Savings Bank. Interesting that it's had no address (city/state) of the bank on it.

I just received a phone call from a Mr. James Smith claiming my number to be drawn from a sweepstake entry that I filled out at my local Walmart. According to Mr. James Smith, I an the winner of 25,000 and a 2016 Mercedes Benz. Mr. Smith need to know my name, and what close relative would be awarded the prize if anything were to happen to me.

Instead of giving him any information, I asked him a few questions pretending to believe his deception. I asked where he was located, he replied "Las Vegas", I asked him what was my Sweepstake Conf. No. he gave me a number. I asked for his supervisor's name, he replied, "Mr. Renick Anderson" but when I asked him to spell the persons name. He couldn't. I then told him that I need to verify this information with my local Walmart and that I would call him back.

Mr. James Smith advised me not to call them because someone from Walmart will want to take my prize. But he was willing to give me a number to verify his company with the Las Vegas police depart. OK. so here are the numbers that Mr. Smith was willing to give me. Mr. Smith's number is 1-876-377-5431 or 1-876-543-4707. Las Vegas police dept. 876-402-6982.

First of all there hardly ever anyone who hasn't visited a Walmart on this planet. I never enter Sweepstakes so I knew that this person was a scam artist, but not a very good one. If you contact Walmart they will tell you that give you the general number for Walmart which will lead you to a recording verifying the call, emails, letters are all scams!Do no every give anyone any personal information about you or your family over the phone or by mail. Don't do it these people are criminals! Report the violation immediately to help others not to believe the lies thieves tell.

Idk if those numbers are real but (876) is the island of Jamaica area code.

I just got an check for $2240 and the want me to send $940 to two different people... I'm not looking the way this sounds... I was going to cash the check in and not send them anything forreal but once the bank find out its fake I'm going to have to pay that money how do I go about this

If you have a fake check, you could turn it in to your bank, or destroy it. If the check came in the mail, you could submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

You can also report a scam that involves a fake check to the FTC at

I just received a check and letter in the mail saying that I have been selected to be a secret shopper. I never signed up online or paid for the opportunity. There is a phone number to activate the check and there is no finite adress to send the money through money gram. Is it still a scam?

If someone you don't know sends you a check and wants you to use a wire transfer, it could be a scam.

A scammer might offer to hire you to be a secret shopper. He sends you a check, and tells you to cash the check and use the money for secret shopping. But the check is fake. If you cash the check and use the money, and the bank finds out later that the check was fake, you'll have to repay the bank all the money you took.

What happens if you get a cashier's check for 1800. What happens if you don't have a bank account but go to Walmart and get it cashed.

If you cash a fake check and use the money, and the bank finds out later that the check was fake, you'll have to repay the bank all the money you took.

Received email via survey site I've used in the past. Asked for my name, address, email, and cell. Gave it, since it's all public info (cell is via Google Voice and is a throw-away). Got certified mail today and check for nearly $1800. Immediately became suspicious and searched the Internet and found this page. Mail tells me to go shopping at a local Wal-Mart. Spend $50. Then transfer funds to someone in Philadelphia for $1400. It is sad anyone falls for this... but I'm sure many do. Walmart doesn't care either.

I basically received the same email as you and then received an assignment in the mail with a money order for $950.00. I was asked to go to Walmart spend $40.00 on whatever, then keep $140.00 for myself, then Western Union rest to another person. Doesn't sound legit but now not sure what I should do with the dang money order.

Thank you all for posting your remarks. I just got a check like every has put here and I am glad I looked here before I went to the bank. Thank you so much.

I agree with some of you that Walmart should be held responsible for this. If they are aware of this game they should be making the advertisements everywhere for people to be aware of the scan pertaining to their name. Walmart is a billion-dollar company. They can't afford to warn people about what's going on. It is giving them a bad name. Also Walmart must not care about their customers very much if they are not making the means for people to be aware of this. I have contacted A law-firm and I'm going to try and pursue a law suite. If anyone is interested in getting involved in a class action suit which would work much better please let me know

This scam is crap and the worst is that the banks cant seem to tell the differences between a fake money order or a check, the bank also charges you $12-$15 for them to return the check or money order back to you and forces you to pay the money back. To me I don't see any reason that a person cant use one of these fake money orders or checks as a payday loan, the interest of $12-$15 dollars is much lower than the bank, money trees and pawn shops charge. You just don't wire the money to the person trying to perform the scam. LMAO! Though I wouldn't do it but what a thought.

I got a check for $3,787.00 and asked me to buy vanilla cash cards. I knew it was fraud but checked to make sure. I also filed a complaint to at the more info the government gets out the scam artists the better they can stop them.

I received a email from a Dan Weil stating I was picked to be a mystery shopper for Walmart. Received a check for $2,950, deposited as told, waited for funds to be available and then used my debit card to go to Walmart and buy (3) $800 money orders. Was then told to fedex them overnight to an address in Jonesboro, GA. The following day, I found out the check was no good. I didnt' send it overnight, so I was able to call Fedex and intercept the package so that those criminals will not be able to get the money orders. It's a mess, but please do not fall for this mess.

I received a random check in the mail from Florida school of technology the check is over 2000 but I never attended the school how do I find out if this is real reading these post make we skeptical but the check didn't come with instructions but it did come via FedEx

You can contact the business or person who signed the check.

i just found out about this bit of info & thank goodness i was told because i dont have that type of money to be paying back nor am i trying to be sued or credit ruined

I got one yesterday from Verizon wireless for $3,785.50 had to buy 6 $500 prepaid vanilla cards and I get to keep 700 bucks. I got a phone number 18886689544 ext 1

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

I received this e-mail signed "Marc Anthony" like really!? I don't know, sounds illegitimate to me. What do you think? -

Getting Extra Income with Us - Mystery Shoppers/Evaluator - Gold World Supplies Company is looking for a reputable person to work as a mystery shopper. The job does not entail much and does not affect your current job.Your duty is to conduct an all expenses paid survey and evaluation in your area. As a mystery shopper you are expected to perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product or using a service by posing as a normal customer. The offer is limited. Please understand that this is a Part Time Job that will not take your regular job time.

Payment check/Money order will be in a certain amount that you will be asked for cash your bank then deduct your salary and have the rest for the evaluation.The Assignment will pay you $500/Assignment of 2 Assignment a week. If you interest, Contact us with your information: 1. Name (first/last) : __________________ 2. Address : __________________ 3. Country, State, City, zip : __________________ 4. Phones (cell/home) : __________________ 5. Age & Sex : _______________ 6. Alternative email : _________________  7. Occupation : __________________ Note: I have been doing this for a while and feel I should let you know its not spam if you are interested then email as directed. Marc Anthony MISTERY SHOPPER DEPT

Email I received yesterday, with two attachments (couldn't post here). One was the full instructions of what I will be doing and who I will be sending the money. The second was the "evaluation form" for Wal Mart and Money Gram. I knew this was a scam immediately, no company would EVER tell you to send money grams. I also called the credit union listed on the check and confirmed it was a fake check but also wanted to more so let them know about the scam with their name on it. The lady told me a bunch of their checks were stolen a while back and they're still circulating.... She said one more fake check won't make any difference and there wasn't anything else I could do to report this. They also spelled my name wrong on the check which is hilarious to me. I just sent them an email back trying to mess with them asking them to send me a new check so I can complete the task as quickly as possible and do more work for them! I'm going to drag this out, have them spend as much money on priority mail shipping as I possibly can and see how far I can take it with messing with these people. Will update!

Dear Agent

This is a confirmation that you can deposit the funds you received for your first assignment. The Payment you received covers all expenses including evaluation, shopping and your compensation for this survey. Deposit the check via Mobile Deposit, ATM or Bank for clearance, cash will be 100% available Immediately or 24 HRS, commence your first assignment as soon as funds is available:


N.B. Add this email to your Email contact list, to ensure all our emails gets to your inbox.

Your Supervisor,
Tony Nalle

I just received a text telling me that I've been hired to take a survey and that I can expect to receive a check tomorrow or Thursday. The person sending the text did not identify his company. I was told to do exactly what is written in a letter that will be mailed to me already me, along with the check.
After finding your site, I began to ask questions: (1) what's the name of your company? (2) Why do I have to deposit the check into my bank account? (3) why can't I just cash the check? (4) What's the url for your website? I haven't received any texts in response to my questions. Sending check back to sender, if I receive it

Just got one of these in the mail this morning for almost $4,000. Everything came out legit until it came to the company I was "surveying" for. Also as I was looking at the check further, it feels light, skimpy, printing is AWFUL, and my address is INCORRECT! Found that interesting...


sad cause i recieved a check and I knew it was fraud smh these people really take the time and use priority mail and all

I just received a check through FedEx for 2500 with instructions to deposit it in my bank account,wait 48 hours withdraw 2300 hundred (200 was my mystery shopping payment) and wire the rest through moneygram (my 1st assignment) to a third party in IL. I'm currently in college and my major is criminal justice with a minor in online fruad and scams so after I read that,I already knew it was a scam. I looked the company up and I contacted them to warn them what was going on. They didn't even know anything about it and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. I'm so glad criminal justice is my major.

I just received a similar mailing where I am to go to Walmart, purchase and keep anything under $40, then wire $793 through Walmart's Money Transfer to a person in Gary, IN. The total amount is for $995, of which I am to keep $150 plus the $40 I would spend plus $12 for the wire charge. The big difference with this one is that it is not a check, it is a Postal Money Order. Does this sound legit?

If someone you don't know sends you a check or money order and wants you to deposit it and send money back, it's probably a scam. If you send money by wire transfer, it's like sending cash. Once it's gone, it's gone and you can't trace it or get it back.

If anyone you don't know sends you a business check, personal check, cashier's check or money order and wants you to send them money, it's probably a scam.

I'd been receiving emails on this so call mystery shopper and also today I just got a check of 3,150.00 to buy at apple store 3 iphone6 and after reviewing all your comments I decided to call the bank and yes its all a fraud. People don't fall for this call the bank and tell them to verify the check number...I guess I'll wait to she send me an email so I can respond to her. Her name is Brenda Atkins from Gurab Research,Inc.

So, I answered the email from James Carr, got a money order from a Lucy Guzman, in an envelope with a return address to a Roger Wilson in Atlanta, GA. Now that I know this is a scam, how should I proceed?

You could take the money order to your bank, or take the envelope and money order to your local Post Office, or contact your state Attorney General’s office, and report this to the FTC at

I got one for $1,940 I did the stupid thing and put it in my account and they closed my account.

I have been getting these checks from secret shoppers. I have so far about five to six of them. I would like to know what to do. So I can help the right people to get their bad people that sending bad money orders and checks.

The lattern corporation is one scam group. They sent me a check for $2865. Holding on to it to give to the right authorities.

I responded to a mystery shopper email that was sent to me for extra income i was told not to use any of my money for these assignments the money will be sent to me including my fee for the week. Well i received a check for 2450 300 of it is supposedly my pay and the rest i had to purchase itunes gift cards in denominations of $50 or $100 dollars i cant tell the cashier that i'm customer service but i had to scratch the card and send the pin number via email to the company once the assignmemt was done. they also instructed me upon receiving the check how to cash it which is through a check cashing place, mobile banking, atm deposit or go into my bank and give them the check but i have to rate the cashier and these were the questions i had to ask....the name, how long will it take the check to cash, cleanliness, friendly etc etc.....i felt a strange feeling in my stomach so i looked up the routing number its legit but what type of place send that kind of money without the job being done?

That sounds like a scam. If they sent you a bad check and you deposit it, then take cash out and send it to them, you will have to repay the bank when the bank finds out the check was bad.

A fake check might look legitimate, and the bank might cash it, but that doesn't prove the check is good. By law, the bank has to give you some of the money within a few days, but that doesn't mean the check is legitimate. It can take days, even weeks for a bank to find out a check is bad. When the bank finds out, it will come to you to repay all the money you took out.

I Just got scammed by this company, and didn't see it coming...THE SAME DAY!!!...this guy asked me to confirm my name and address so he could get me working, and withing hours, was in my paypal, adding funds, and buying prepaid gift cards ...they are fixing it. Returning all them money put on to him, and all the gift cards, but what a hassle....I was planning on reporting him to the federal trade commission...I didn't expect this!!


We received your application for the Data Entry Position. Congratulation we have accepted your request to work for us at Data Plus Service. My name is Debora Smith, I am the hiring manager for Data Plus Service. This is a home-base working position and it is very flexible. Working with us is basically about following given instructions. your activities among other things will include;

>>> Filing, Creating, typing and sending out letters, scanning documents, some personal assistant duties for owners, and many other
>>> Managing few expenses and invoices

You only have to work 3days/week and 2hours/day.The pay is $50/hr which is approximately $300 weekly!!

It's a part-time work from home for now and Working with us is flexible which means you have chances of applying for an extra part-time job. We have an assignment for you in your area, we have a pending errand we need you to run this week/next week around your area. This errand will involve payment of some basic data materials and typing of payment invoice accordingly. We will have some funds sent to you to complete the errands and would get back to you with more information on that, payment will be sent to your information below. Kindly confirm your information below is correct.

Full Name Eric
Street Address 317 Adams SE, 107
City, State and Zip 317 Adams SE, 107
Phone Number 505-433-2883

Funds will include your first week payment and funds for errands you will run for us in your area ..

Thanks in anticipation of your prompt response. Ensure you respond to this message once you receive it. We await your swift response

Yours Sincerely,

Debora Smith

i just received a cashiers check for $2,890.00 from People State Bank in Newton IL 62448

Well lets just say I called before i did anything and turns out its a scam once again these people are should know by know that we know about them... but they still keep it up... its sad because normally i wouldve never given a thought i would've just put it in my bank but once i seen that it came from Canada than it said their office was in New York and i googled the address and it came back as a building that was no long in use i called the bank and asked the bank manager if it was real

so please be smart and google please Global Survey USA 8017 4Th Avenue, Suite 107B New York New York 10022 Number they Gave me 1-800-210-5952 Dan Strauss big fail thanks

What was the email they used?

Received a letter & check in the mail for $%1998.55 to be a mystery shopper from goshoppinggroup. com. Told me to deposit the check, $350 is mine, see assignment #1 for Amount for Evaluation & #2 for Required Funds for retail shopping assignment. I'm safer ripping it up & throwing it away, it sounds too good to be true.

I got a 1950 check Emailed the sender said the business was legit and had been in business since 1990. My guys name was Gerald Johnson. I'm a single mom. Could definitely use the extrac300$. Is this legit.

If someone you don't know sends you a check, it's probably a scam, and you're going to end up losing money.

A scammer might say you're going to be a mystery shopper, or use different stories. The bottom line is: you take a big risk if you cash a check from someone you don't know, or someone who found you online and offered you a job. This FTC article about fake checks has more information.  And this article tells how scammers "hire" people for jobs that can get you in legal trouble.

received a check for $1960.00 on the dec 19th. called the issuing bank (Commerce Bank) yesterday and verified it is not a legit check. Been getting texts from Alex McDonnell saying he knows it was delivered, when am I going to bank etc. Told him I moved but could pick it up, text back from same number said okay and to keep him posted. Texted the number back and said check not good, not taking it to the bank, and no reply. Then text form another number, asking if I was going to bank. I told them I checked with their bank, check no good, not cashing it. Radio Silence, surprise surprise. The issuer name on the check is ALEX J MCDONNELL, the signor in the check is JOHN A MACDONALD (doctor type signature)and name of the sender on the priority mail label is Alexander Hemming. There is one page of instructions to Mystery Shop at wal mart's Moneygram store. To buy $25 cashier's check from my bank made out to Alex McDonnell, then buy a moneygram in the amount of $1290.00 and send it to Antonio Smith via the 10 minute transfer feature and pay the $35 transfer fee. then send another 250 via the walmart to walmart feature to Antonio Smith again and purchase an iTunes gift card of $50 no mention of what to do with it. Anyway, it all seemed to be too good to be true when I opened the letter. And it is. Glad I caught this before I lost a bunch of money. Reported this scam to the Indiana Attorney General.

Isn't it wonderful that people like this make the legit companies look bad? I got an e/mail, would pay me $350.00 to be a Secret Shopper and I would receive my assignment within days after my approval. Then I start getting multiple e/mails wanting to know if I had received my assignment yet and deposit yet????? I then get this legitimate envelope in the mail with a cashier's check for $2,875.00 which I am to deposit into my account (oh by the way the instructions state that it will clear instantly or within 24 hrs.), then I am to keep $350.00 (my salary for the job), then pay $82.00 for money gram charges to send the remaining balance of $2,440.00 to a Jake Blake in Instanbul, Turkey!!!! Wow! Why do I have to cash a check (that is no good), then send a money gram to your person in Turkey? Why can't you just send that person the check or money gram them money on your own??? Well, the reason is...wait for's a SCAM!!!! I called Georgia United Credit Union to confirm my gut feeling, and sure's a scam!

Oh, then at the bottom of the instruction letter, is states: "NOTE: At money grams stores, under no circumstances should you acknowledge that you are evaluating their services. That will deter the purpose of the program. If asked if you are a mystery shopper, please answer NO!" Why yes, I am not a scam artist, I want to send money to someone that I don't know in Turkey!!!

So, Mr. Jonathan Daniels (the name at the bottom of the letter of instructions), I will not cash the fake check that you have sent to me only to have it to be a way to play basketball as it will bounce since it's no good...I am sorry Mr. Blake (the person who is supposed to be the recipient), I am not sending you money since I don't want to be held liable when this thing goes of luck on y'all finding some other sucker to do your scamming!!!

I just received a check in the mail for $2,875 and I would get 350 if I deposited the money into my bank account and send $2,440 to a guy named Jake Blake in Turkey. Before hand I kept getting numerous emails from smn.nfi02sx226 @   asking if I had deposited the money yet. Both banks/credit unions said they didn't have the check on file. Reported it but beware these guys are getting good at scamming, look out!

Don't cash a check from someone you don't know who its from. Take it back to the post office. I got a check for 2350.45 in mail from someone I don't even know. They started to text me on my phone,don't answer any email or phone message. Beware their are a lot of Scamers out there they just wanted your hard earning money live off of.And Mystery Shopper Scam.Real mystery shopper don't send u a check in mail.

I got one of these too! I got a check for $2960 and knew this had to be too good to be true. Who is going to pay $300 to do such a quick task and the fact that the letter said this was made out to me in "respect of the secret shopper offer I applied for" when I never applied for a secret shopper job. Too good to be true usually means it is TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

I got a check today from CSSV Consulting for $2495 and was told to deposit it in my bank, I must had boo-boo the fool written on my birth certificate. So I called the bank and the bank exist but the bank rep she has no record of that check This was a first for me I've never received something like this before but my gut told me it was something very wrong so if you get one TRASH-IT...

What happems if you just cash the check instead of depositing it into your account?

Just received a check for $997 on American Eagle Financial Credit Union. What a fraud---hope people don't get sucked into this. 701 369 3176 is the number used by the perpetrator.

My daughter received a letter and check from A $996.00 check issued on Wal-Mart check. The letter looks legit. BUT...the name signed on the bottom is a name I recognized from getting a letter like this years ago. So these guys not only still haven't been caught, but they are confident enough to use the same name. I took the check I received ($5,000) to my bank a few years ago. I asked them about the check (which was legit check paper, but the checks were stolen) In case you are wondering what happens in these cases - they get some poor innocent or desperate soul to take their check to the bank. You take out whatever amount it is they tell you to "send to someone else" out, you send it and then boom....the check bounces. You are responsible for the charges. So if you fall for the scam and USE the money to pay bills, go shopping or whatever thinking you have had good luck, then you are going to be in BIG financial trouble with your bank and whoever else you bought stuff from. It's an old scam and it works because not everyone stops to look stuff up. The other way it works (and I don't think they do this as much anymore because it doesn't take as long for things to go through now) is that you deposit the check, then write a check and send it to someone else. After about 2 weeks their check bounces, but they cashed your check. Now you owe the money AND they have your bank information. I have a credit union and they wised up to this. It now can take 15 days for them to release funds if deposited from a company you do not normally deal with. Then if the check doesn't go through it is considered fraud. Best thing to do is take it to your bank. They will take it to their fraud department. It will be put on a hot list and you may prevent someone else from being victimized.

I received a Scam letter via Priority Mail, today, from North Texas Processing Distrib;951 W. Bethel Rd, Coppell, Tx. 75019. The letter allegedly came from Daily Merit Research, Inc and it included a check drawn from Security Service Federal Credit Union in San Antonio, Tx. for the amount of $2,625.00. Instructions in the letter were for me to deposit the check in my bank a/c and then purchase two M.O. at my local Walmart for $1100 each and pay to the order of Josh Lovewell and Bill Josh c/o the Walmart in Tomball, Tx. 77375. I was to retain $300 for myself as payment for my survey conducted at my local Walmart store. I was also supposed to make a purchase in the amount of $50 for which I was to provide details on the cashier, his/her professionalism and my personal shopping experience. The letter and survey instructions came from a Maxwell Matteson, Research Mgr. and had a ph # that I was to send a text with the store and transaction #'s for the two $1100 m.o.I had wired to the store in Tomball. I was to provide my email and they would send a confirm to me with further instructions.

After doing a google search on the name: Daily Merit Research,Inc., and seeing similar scam reports, I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and they suggested I also bring the info received to my local Post Office and file a complaint there.

Just dodged a scam...same mechanics but a bit sophisticated using social media l. I have received via my LinkedIn contact (her account was hacked) a mystery shopper opportunity. I entertained it because the LinkedIn message or recommendation was from a credible source (didn't know her account was hacked). BEWARE...this is a scam DO NOT fall for it.

I'm reporting this to the Federal Trade Commission as well as alert JP Morgan Chase of possible fake checks to protect any other from being scammed. Here's the instructions by email:

On Mar 13, 2017, at 8:34 AM, Karen Lane wrote: Greetings, Your first assignment check of $1,850.82 was posted via USPS Priority Mail. The envelope will be delivered today Monday 13th March. See below and also attached file for your assignment guideline and commission instruction. I will email you the USPS Tracking details soon. Kindly confirm receiving email with instruction by replying this email.

[ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINE] 1: Proceed to your bank or credit union to have the check deposited. Funds will be available immediately or in 24 hours. 2: Deduct $350 as your commission and logistics fee. 3: Proceed to nearest Store with iTunes Gift Cards [ Apple iTunes Non-Denominational Gift Card $15 - $500 ] (The cards are available at Rite Aid, Office Depot, Walgreens, Best buy and many other stores) 4: Purchase 3 iTunes Gift Cards at store. (See below “Samples”). Note: If the Non-Denominational Gift Card are not available, then you may purchase other denominations. 5: Go to the register and add cash of $500 to each card. $500 X 3 = $1500 6: Evaluate the quality of customer service delivery, condition and arrangement of cards at the store and fill out your observation in the Feedback Section below (Page 2). Note: Under no circumstance should you acknowledge that you are evaluating their services as that will deter the purpose of the program. If asked if you are a mystery shopper, kindly answer NO.

AFTER PURCHASE OF CARDS 7: Open the pack, scratch off label to reveal code at the back of the cards and capture clear image of front and back of each card and email to us along with Page 2 of this document. (Phone camera accepted) The cards are required for the next assignment. You will also use the funds to carry out future assignments. This eliminates the need of posting you checks for other upcoming assignments. Note: Do not use the cards until we instruct you to do so. FEEDBACK FORM YOUR NAME STORE NAME AND ADDRESS DATE AND TIME OF VISIT Comments: Three (3) things that could be improved in this store (Services). 1     2     3     4. How long did it take to purchase the cards?  Thank you for your services. Market Research Opinions

guys this just happened to me and i fell for it because it seemed so real! please tell me what to do! i just now found all of this information and its to late for me to do anything.

Got scammed in March 2017. Was distracted and receiving numerous legitimate checks so deposited.
Obviously, you need to notify FBI, FTC, USPO etc because it is a multiplatform fraud.
"Send From" number code. [first five digets]
Mine appears to have originated on a Military Base involved in National Security Communications Interception.
If yours originated on Military Base PO too, Immediately inform your Senator to get the Military to investigate ALL the identities you have and provide the week/day you received envelope ... it there is a tracking number provide that too.
This scam appears to involve military personnel at all levels. It might be funding something ...

question re the secret shopper scam:
I have this check for 2,670.18. What happens if I just deposit the check and then do nothing?

If someone you don't know sends you a check, it's probably a scam, and you're going to end up losing money.

A scammer might say you're going to be a mystery shopper, or use different stories. The bottom line is: you take a big risk if you cash a check from someone you don't know, or someone who found you online and offered you a job. This FTC article about fake checks has more information.  And this article tells how scammers "hire" people for jobs that can get you in legal trouble.


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