March 26, 2009

In the News: Mystery Shopper Scam

I guess when the economy is down and people are eager to make a quick buck, scam artists like these can find easy prey.

Here’s the deal with the scam: A supposed mystery shopping marketing firm in Texas sends you a check in the mail for several thousand dollars. They ask you to deposit the check and use the cash to evaluate the service of a hotel, restaurant or store in your area. Then you’re supposed to wire the rest of the money back to the marketing firm — along with your report.

Scam Alert Graphic

The problem is: The check is fake! So not only are you out the bounced check fee, you also now owe your bank however much you withdrew in cash for your bogus mystery shopping assignment.

If you get a check from an unknown source in the mail, DO NOT CASH IT. Got that? Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about legitimate mystery shopping operations, check out JobMonkey’s section on becoming a mystery shopper.

Sign up for our newsletter!