Scam Warning — Do NOT Wire Money as Part of a Mystery Shopping Assignment

I hate that I have to write this post, but it has become a necessity:

  • Do NOT wire ANY money as part of a mystery shopping assignment.
  • If you EVER receive a large check as part of a mystery shopping assignment, DO NOT DEPOSIT IT. The check is fake. The people who sent you the check are trying to steal your money.

Over the past two months, someone has been posing as MysteryShopOnline.com, and attempting to scam people out of their hard earned money — by tricking them into depositing a fake check and then wiring a portion of the money back.

This makes me incredibly frustrated and sad. Many people have lost several thousand dollars each. And the problem does is not going away, despite the fact that two such thieves were recently arrested in Canada.

The hardship and pain caused by these scams breaks my heart. Some of the hardest hit people are left completely broke and in debt. Many of them were already overwhelmed.

Because some of these thieves are posing as my company, I have received personal threats from their victims. This makes everything much more poignant for me. It makes the pain of the victims very real. But I cannot blame them — I can only try to help improve the situation.

Fortunately, their are people in law enforcement who take these scams very seriously. That is proven by the fact that 2 scammers were arrested just weeks ago.

Lets hope that more will be arrested soon.

If you have ANY information about ANY kind of scam related to mystery shopping, then please contact the authorities.

The Secret Service actively investigates this kind of fraud.  Contact your nearest field office: http://www.secretservice.gov/field_offices.shtml 

You can also file a report here: http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/. This will put your information in a database that dozens of law enforcement agencies have access to.

Also, contact your local police department.

Here is the number for the agency that was responsible for arresting the 2 scammers a couple of weeks ago: 1-800-348-5358.

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59 Responses to Scam Warning — Do NOT Wire Money as Part of a Mystery Shopping Assignment

  1. brown says:

    I know a couple of people who are involved in such scams. however, i do not know how to go about reporting the crime anonymously. i have a good idea about their networks, their bureau and their scams. if i knew about how to report them anonymously, i will gladly do it cos it pains when the elderly are the victims

  2. Amy S. says:

    I just received a check for $2950 today via UPS.
    I recently replied to a part-time mystery shopping job so
    it must be that. There was no paper work sent with the check so I was suspicious and started googling the name of the remitter on check
    Max Pierre Louis. and sender of the ups. Jacob Mary. To bad they can’t stop these people. It’s such a waste of time and money.
    Just remember if it sounds to good to be true it usually is!

  3. caroline says:

    Got 2 emails from them last night. Still going. So sorry they r using ur co name. Sucks. In Canada u can call ‘crimestoppers’ anonymously, I’m sure that there’s the same sort of thing in the US

  4. Tara Gough says:

    Iam waiting for my cheque as I type this I just called the police and they said i can deposit the cheque but wait for the cheque to clear but if it doesnt the bank will bounce it then im charged if it sounds to good to be true it is.

  5. Steve F. says:

    Tara, the police have given you bad advice. You must NOT, under any conditions, attempt to deposit or cash the cheque. It is certainly 100% phony. You can get in a lot of trouble for trying to cash bad checks.

    Worse, a bank may tell you the cheque has cleared when in reality it has not. The clerks have no way of knowing. If you act on the believe you really have the money, you have just become a scam victim.

    I advise you to merely ignore this whole business. Frame the cheque and hang it on the wall, if you wish. It is worthless. Guaranteed.

  6. Nicole says:

    this goes out to Brown, who wrote he knows of people doing such scams. Brown, if you know about it and don’t say anything your just as guilty as the people you know that is doing the crime! Guilty by association!! You are just as bad as the people you know of that is doing the scams. Your best bet is to contact your local police. Trust that they know what to do.

  7. Mindy S says:

    I just received a check which I had assumed was a slow payment from my mystery shopping jobs and now my account is so far in the whole I will never get out. I don’t know what to do. I plan on pressing charges, but have no idea who they will charge them against. I thought I paid my bank to protect me from checks like this from getting through my account.

  8. Rita says:

    I received 2 different UPS Envelopes that had nothing in them but 2 cheques each. They appeared to have been purchased at the United States Postal Service. Since there was nothing in the envelopes, such as directions to any location to be shopped and no way to contact the company to complete a survey, I was concerned. I went to the Post Office there I was told the cashers checks were 100% phoney. The postal employee showed me what a real cheque should look like and I was told “A BANK WOULD NOT KNOW” the cheques was phoney. It was explained once the bank cashed the cheques and then found out they were phoney the bank would then come back to me for the money. The postal employee took the cheques and all the information that I had printed from my website and turned them over to the powers that be for further investigation.

  9. Steve F says:

    Rita, you have done everything correctly. An envelope containing nothing but a cheque, no further instructions, is the sure mark of a scam. The cheques are worthless of course.

    The postal service may tell you they will investigate but don’t expect to hear anything further from them. You have not lost any money so your case has the lowest priority. Likely nothing further will ever be done. In any case, you have resisted becoming a victim.

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