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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mystery Shopper Scam Now Comes Bundled With Check Fraud Scam!

Mystery Shopper Scam Now Comes Bundled With Check Fraud Scam!

Fraudulent check scams (which we wrote about yesterday) have taken a new, exciting twist: integrated into so-called "mystery shopper" scams. The classified ads you see for secret or mystery shoppers used to be small time cons, designed to bilk you out of $100 or so to provide information that's readily available for free. But add a little check fraud and you could be taken for thousands of dollars.

MSNBC tells the story of one man who was "hired" as a mystery shopper, then sent a check for $2,500 and told that his assignment—for which he'd be paid $250—was to test the services of MoneyGram, a wire transfer service available at Wal-Mart. He deposited the enclosed check, then wired $2,250 to the home office in Canada. And then, of course, the check bounced.

Real mystery shopping gigs exist, but they usually pay around $10-20 per assignment, says the article. As a rule, you should ignore classified ads for such jobs, and instead look to established websites like Mystery Shopping Providers Association or Volition.

"Secret-shopping scam: two for the price of one" [MSNBC]

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