Often because we have an account with ‘Google’ we will receive all types of unsolicited emails, and phone calls. If you didn’t already know, Google stores our information like other search engines we utilize, so many times when we search on Google for specific persons, all kinds of information usually pops up. If you’ve ever entered a profile anywhere online, your information can be retrieved from a simple search.
I am making this post for all of those out there who are like me, just trying to make a living! There are people out there that target people like us because they know we need to make money. I have seen all kinds of scams and been alerted to some also. The reason I’m making this post is because I received a letter in the mail that said I had been asked to participate in a “secret shopper” assignment (mystery shopping) and it was accompanied by a check for $1980. Don’t take my word for it, here’s a copy of the check!
A hefty sum before you do the work? Not likely. One should already know that this is a scam because Mystery Shopping companies NEVER pre-pay for assignments! The only action I had to complete to get the funds was to take the check to my bank and cash it! Of course they would get some of this money….like $1400 of it. So why not just send me the remaining $580? Plain and simple…this is a money laundering scam!
A money laundering scam would consist of you receiving money and taking the money to your bank to receive funds, once you get the funds you are ALWAYS asked to send money back to the original sender! To make it even worse…I received another one the NEXT day! The letter was sent “priority mail” and came from Washington, DE from a Fred William. The company who makes the checks is REAL, but anyone can create a design online…most of us already have. (nothing illegal though).
There are a few methods one could use to deduce whether or not an offer is legitimate;
- Did you sign up? If not it’s a SCAM!
- Have you heard of the company contacting you?
- Do you know the person contacting you?
- What did you do to receive the reward?
- Does your reward involve repayment?
- Does the contact person/correspondence use your real name?
Money laundering is a serious crime and can land a person in prison for many years! Be wise when you receive such notices about having won or just receiving money. Also, a service you know nothing about and have not signed up for would NOT be sending you payment of any sort, so be smart! They claimed they were representing “Mystery Shopper’s Inc.“, but I don’t believe that’s true! Mystery shopping companies pay you AFTER not before assignments are completed.
I also did a bit of searching about the company and found that Mystery Shopper’s Inc. is a real company, but is based out of Knoxville, Tennessee. The company has two complaints listed with the BBB (though this service is not a requirement), and it just all sounds shady! lol These opportunities try to trick those who have no experience with this industry. Mystery shoppers know they are not getting paid $500 for one shop…they never pay that much!
If you are interested in mystery shopping you can visit my post here, where I explain what it is and what you do. You have to be wise doing anything online. If you’re not a good researcher or don’t perform your due diligence (researching stuff for yourself), you are sure to get scammed online! If you believe things you see and don’t investigate you’re setting yourself up for financial upheaval! Just be SMART! 🙂