Mystery Shopping

Updated: November 02, 2010

One of the most widely known scams in the industry right now is a check cashing scam. In this case, an unsuspecting mystery shopper receives a check in the mail for a large sum of money and instructions to purchase a money gram, open a checking account, or wire the majority of the money to the sender. The sender claims that the assignment is to evaluate the facilities and personnel performing these transactions and that the remainder of the money, usually several hundred dollars or more, is the mystery shopper's fee. In every case I've observed, the check is counterfeit, and the company is illegitimate or has had complaints regarding fraudulent activity. I received several of these checks several months back, as had several of my colleagues. After calling banks and federal law enforcement agencies, it was discovered that this was in fact the case. No legitimate mystery shopping or support company will ever send you a check unless it's for an assignment you have already completed, and support companies in the industry have no reason to send a check to a mystery shopper. If you receive a check from a company, even if it is claiming to be from a company that you know to be legitimate, do not cash it. Destroy it or turn it over to law enforcement agencies.

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