The secret of some secret shoppers ad is “scam”

Mystery shopper scams revealed

There are legitimate “mystery shopping” programs and there are those that are not legitimate, which we will talk about today.

Let’s say that after you responded to an ad, whether it was on the Internet, TV, radio or in the newspaper, you receive a letter saying, “Congratulations. You have been hired to participate in a Mystery Shopper Program.” You are told your salary will be $500 per week after you complete two assignments, and you receive a check from your employer for $2,680.

Your first assignment is to evaluate a Western Union location. You rate that location’s customer service by pretending to be a customer. You fill out the green money transfer form for $1,960 plus fees of $120. The money you are wiring comes from the $2,680 check received from your employer.

You most likely will be wiring the money outside the United States to places such as London, Paris or Jamaica, for example. Now you have $600.

Your second assignment is to visit named retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Best Buy, etc., and use $100 to buy products (that you get to keep) while you are evaluating customer service. The remaining $500 is your salary.

All you are required to do is shop with money provided and file your customer survey report with your employer. Failure to complete the assignments will lead to employment termination.

It all sounds great until you learn the $2,680 check that you deposited bounced, which is when you realize this is a fraud and you have to make good on the check plus any incurred fees because of the NSF check.

Source: South Bend (IN) Tribune

I always cringe when I see these ads for easy work, work at home, or make money fast. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. This column is done by a Better Business Bureau area director. What a fantastic public service. More newspapers and TV news broadcasts should expose such claims and warn people they could be taken for a ride. The more the other side of the story gets out, if people do check online for information, they will get the warnings.