Secret Shopper Scam email

Here is another sample of a Secret Shopper Scam email. I do have to say, at least the grammar is better in this one than in the usual letters.

———————–

Subject: Earn $200 Bonus For Each Assignment As A Secret Shopper This Christmas
From: noreply@aol.com
Reply To: enjoytoshopp@aol.com

Hello,

We are a company that conduct surveys and evaluate other companies. We get hired to go to other peoples companies and act like customers in order to know how the staffs are handling their services in relation to their customers.

We all shop, and many of us enjoy shopping. But very rarely does opportunity present itself to do what we enjoy doing and getting paid for doing it. Imagine earning extra income just for going shopping and filling out a questionnaire!

Mystery shopping is basically a form of market research. You are asked to gather information, from a customer’s perspective. Often times, this is done without the knowledge of the personnel where the shop is taking place. As a mystery shopper, you may therefore be asked to do some acting. This is not to deceive anyone but rather to assure that the information being gathered is representative.

The first thing to remember is that we are on the side of the client. You are not hired to catch anyone “in the act” or trap the employee. Rather, it is your job to answer specific questions in an unbiased and constructive way.

Confidentiality is also very important. In most cases, the establishment is not to know that a mystery shop is taking place. Additionally, the questionnaires may be protected by copyrights. Often, the employee evaluated will be informed of the results of your evaluation later and may even be allowed to read your comments. But this is for management to determine.

The information most often requested by management concerns employee to customer relations, employee performance, product quality or presentation of the establishment including cleanliness and convenience. This information helps management to identify areas of strength and weakness so they can take steps to correct the problem or potential problems before business is lost. The information can also allow management to monitor the success of a program designed to improve certain areas of concern. This can be a very advantageous tool to management in the extremely competitive business environment of today. Some companies will even inform employees that mystery shoppers will be visiting them but the employees will not know who or when the shop will take place. It may be considered a kind of report card and, as you can imagine, this can be a very effective motivational tool.

As a mystery shopper, you may receive assignments in a variety of establishments in your area. Most of them will be customer oriented retail establishments, which include chain stores, specialty stores and restaurants. Normally, it is the larger companies with many outlets and a central management office that use mystery shoppers. Statistics show that by far, the most important factor in competitiveness is customer service. Therefore, most of the information you will be asked to gather will concern customer service.

Obviously, mystery shoppers should appear to be a typical customer to the establishment. The mystery shoppers that consistently get new assignments, however, are those who are punctual and reliable. Mystery shopping companies want shoppers who also pay attention to detail and work well with others and have an appreciation of good service. You will be given specific questions to ask and perhaps specific products to shop for and/or purchase. You will be expected to promptly complete the questionnaire, neatly and concisely, and return it based on the instructions provided to you. Your job is not to be a problem shopper for the establishment but to gather specific and representative information.

Most of the time, the compensation for the assignment is established in advance and paid after the questionnaire is returned. As a mystery shopper, you are not an employee of the company that provides you an assignment–but rather an independent contractor. As such, there is no employee benefits and no taxes will be withheld from your pay. You are responsible for reporting your own income. However, you may want to consult your tax advisor as some tax breaks may apply.

EARNINGS
Pay can range from $200 to $300 per job assignment, with an average of $100 per assignment. Additionally there is a stipend for purchases. The number of assignments per day vary but if you are assertive in seeking work-and work for several mystery shopping companies-you could garner up to 20 assignments per month. While most mystery shoppers consider this a part time or “hobby” job, if you approach the work as a full-time job, you can earn $4,000 to $5,000 per month.

Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of shops, stores, restaurant and services in your area.
No commitment is made on this job, and you would have flexible hours as it suits you. If you are interested do send in these information:

FULL NAME:……………………
CONTACT ADDRESS..(PLS NO PO BOX ADDRESS)……………….
CITY……………
STATE………….
ZIP CODE …………….
TELEPHONE NUMBER:……………….
MOBILE NUMBER:………………….
OCCUPATION:……………………
EMAIL:………………………

So we can look at your distance from the locations which you have to put your service into, and your address would also be need for your payments.
Great Pay** Fun Work** Flexible Schedules**No experience required.If you can shop-you are qualified!
No start off fees is required
Must be above 18years old
Must be computer literate
Must be very honest and committed
pls note that this is a part time job

David Scott
Thanks
Recruitment officer
Mystery Shoppers World

Secret Shopper Scams

With how hard it is to find jobs in today’s economy, and the holiday’s coming up, Secret Shopper Scams and other work at home offers seem to lure in more people.  They seem like a way that people can provide some extra income, and who does not need that right now.  Here is an example of a Secret Shopper Scam email.

Subject: Mystery Shopping (Shoppers Needed)..  From: beeguy1@aol.com

We have a mystery shopping assignment.

Date:8th December,2010
Email:(evaluationteam50@rogers.com)
“We have a mystery shopping assignment in your area and we would like you to participate”
Secret Shopper(R) is accepting applications for qualified individuals to become mystery shoppers. It’s fun and rewarding, and you choose when and where you want to shop. You are never obligated to accept an assignment.
There is no charge to become a shopper and you do not need previous
experience. After you sign up, you will have access to training materials via e-mail, fax or postal mail.
ABOUT US
Secret Shopper(R) is the premier mystery shopping company, serving clients across America with over 500,000 shoppers available and ready to help businesses better serve their customers. Continual investment in the latest internet and communication technologies coupled with over 16 years of know-how means working with Secret Shopper(R) is a satisfying and rewarding experience.
Secret shopping as seen on ABC NEWS, NBC NEWS, L.A.TIMES.
Stores and organizations such as The Gap, Walmart, Pizza Hut, and Bank. One  amongst many others pay for Secret Shoppers to shop in their establishments and report their experiences. On top of being paid for shopping you are also allowed to keep purchases for free. Secret Shopper(R) NEVER charge fees to the shopper. Training, tips for improvement, and shopping opportunities are provided free to registered shoppers. Mystery shoppers are either paid a pre-arranged fee for a particular shop, a reimbursement for a purchase or a combination of both.
You will be required to interact with the shop clerk.
You may conduct the shop alone or as a couple.
The assignment will pay $200.00/ Assignment
Kindly Fill Out the application form below and we will get back to you
shortly with the assignment to this email (evaluationteam50@rogers.com):
PERSONAL INFORMATION:
First Name:
Last Name:
Street Address:
City, State, Zip Code:
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:
AVAILABILITY:
Days/Hours Available
Monday  ………………………………………
Tuesday ………………………………………
Wednesday ………………………………………
Thursday  ………………………………………
Friday ………………………………………
Saturday ………………………………………
Sunday ………………………………………
Hours Available: from _______ to ______
We await your urgent response.
Thank you for your help.
We look forward to working with you.
Sincerely,
Frank James
Secret Shopper(R)

 

Minnesota Victims

I am looking for victims of internet crimes in Minnesota who would be willing to share their story with City Pages.  If you do not want your name printed, they are willing to respect that.

If you are a victim of any type of internet crime, I encourage you to come forward and share your story.  I know it is not easy . . . I am a scam victim also . . . but I do know how rewarding it is to know that you have helped save others from being a scam victim because your story gave them the information to protect themselves.

If you are interested, you can contact me through http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

Victims – Tell your story!

I will OFTEN get requests from media people for victims to share their story (on radio, tv or in print).  If you are a victim who would be willing to share your story, please contact me via email with your name, state you live in, and the type of scam you were a victim of (counterfeit check, romance, roommate, credit card fraud, 419, ID theft, etc.)

This can be a wonderful way for you to share your story and help to warn and educate other people about scams!

Looking for work?

BOTTOM DOLLAR. The FTC continues its crackdown on con artists who prey on unemployed Americans by promising to help them get jobs in the federal government, as movie extras, or as mystery shoppers; or make money working from their homes stuffing envelopes or assembling crafts and ornaments. David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, and Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray announced the law enforcement sweep “Operation Bottom Dollar,” against these scams. The sweep includes seven FTC cases, 43 criminal actions by the Department of Justice, a civil action by the Postal Inspection Service and 18 actions by state attorneys general. The FTC also partnered with Monster.com, the search engine Bing, and Craigslist to post FTC tips that help job seekers recognize and avoid job scams. Read the press release.

Stay safe from scams at the holidays

This information can be found at
http://www.ic3.gov/media/2009/091130.aspx

This holiday season the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI) is reminding people that cyber criminals continue to aggressively create new ways to steal money and personal information. Scammers use many techniques to fool potential victims including fraudulent auction sales, reshipping merchandise purchased with a stolen credit card, and sale of fraudulent or stolen gift cards through auction sites at a discounted price.

Fraudulent Classified Ads or Auction Sales
Internet criminals post classified ads or auctions for products they do not have. If you receive an auction product from a merchant or retail store, rather than directly from the auction seller, the item may have been purchased with someone else’s stolen credit card number. Contact the merchant to verify the account used to pay for the item actually belongs to you.

Shoppers should be cautious and not provide financial information directly to the seller, as fraudulent sellers will use this information to purchase items for their scheme from the provided financial account. Always use a legitimate payment service to protect purchases.

As for product delivery, unfamiliar Web sites or individuals selling reduced or free shipping to customers through auction sites many times are deemed to be fraudulent. In many instances, these Web sites or sellers provide shipping labels to their customers as a service. However, the delivery service providers are ultimately not being paid to deliver the package; therefore, packages shipped by the victims using these labels are intercepted by delivery service providers because they are identified as fraudulent.

Diligently check each seller’s rating and feedback along with their number of sales and the dates on which feedback was posted. Be wary of a seller with 100% positive feedback, if they have a low total number of feedback postings and all feedback was posted around the same date and time.

Gift Card Scam
Be careful about purchasing gift cards from auction sites or through classified ads. If you need a gift card, it is safest to purchase it directly from the merchant or another authorized retail store. If the gift card merchant discovers the card you received from another source or auction was initially obtained fraudulently, the merchant will deactivate the gift card number and it will not be honored for purchases.

Phishing and Smishing Schemes
Be leery of e-mails or text messages you receive indicating a problem or question regarding your financial accounts. In this scam, you are directed to follow a link or call the number provided in the message to update your account or correct the problem. The link actually directs the individuals to a fraudulent Web site or message that appears legitimate where any personal information you provide, such as account number and PIN, will be stolen.

Another scam involves victims receiving an e-mail message directing the recipient to a spoofed Web site. A spoofed Web site is a fake site or copy of a real Web site and misleads the recipient into providing personal information, which is routed to the scammer’s computers.

Tips
Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:

Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.

Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.

Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan the attachments if possible.

Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.

Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and will lead you to a legitimate site.

Log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.

Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine.

To receive the latest information about cyber scams, please go to the FBI Web site and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes. If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.IC3.gov.

For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI’s New E-Scams and Warnings webpage at http://www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm.

Thank you Monster!

I have been wanting to see this happen for YEARS! Monster just sent out a warning about work at home/employment scams to all of their members! Here is a copy of the information.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Whether you are searching for a new job through Monster or other websites, keep in mind that the same technological innovations that help in your job search may be used by cyber-criminals looking to lure job seekers into questionable job “opportunities.”

Monster, the worldwide leader in the online recruitment industry, makes protecting job seekers a top priority. While Monster continually monitors its network and database to detect and terminate fraudulent access or job postings, keep in mind that Monster’s primary purpose is to serve as an open forum for employers to advertise open positions and a service for job seekers to broadcast their qualifications to interested employers. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate parties (such as employers) have access, but neither we nor any other online recruitment company can guarantee that inappropriate parties will not gain access to a posted resume. Accordingly, we’d like to remind you of what you can do to help keep yourself safe during a job search.

Know What to Avoid

Some employment scams appear as job postings or classifieds while others may target victims with an offer through an unsolicited email. Below are the most common scams you may see:
Money-Laundering Scams
Money launderers often create job descriptions that offer commissions or pay as high as $2000 per day to process checks on behalf of foreign nationals. They are recruiting local citizens to “process payments” or “transfer funds,” because as foreign nationals, they can’t do it themselves. The image below is an example of a money laundering scam hidden behind what appears to be an offer of employment. Learn more about money laundering scams here. »

Reshipping Scams
Reshipping, or postal forwarding, scams typically require job seekers to receive stolen goods in their own homes– frequently consumer electronics — and then forward the packages, often outside the United States. Those who fall for reshipping scams may be liable for shipping charges and even the cost of goods purchased online with stolen credit cards. Read more about reshipping scams here. »

Pre-pay/Work at Home Scams
Although there are genuine jobs working at home, many “offers” are not valid forms of employment and may have the simple goal of obtaining an initial monetary investment from the victim. Using claims such as ‘be your own boss’ and ‘make money quickly’, Work at Home scams will not guarantee regular salaried employment and almost always require an “up-front” investment of money for products or instructions before explaining how the plan works. Find out more about avoiding these scams. »

Protect Yourself

What seems like a lucrative job offer could cost you your savings and more. Learn to identify the signals of an employment scam to protect yourself. When conducting a job search:

Look for signals in a job posting or email offer, which could serve as an indicator that what is being presented as employment is not legitimate. Don’t get involved with an employer that can’t make its business model perfectly clear to you or one that’s willing to hire you without even a phone interview. Do your own research on any employer that makes you feel at all uneasy.

Never put your social security or national ID number, credit card number, bank account number or any type of sensitive personal identification data in your resume. You should never share any personal information with a prospective employer, even if they suggest that it is for a “routine background check”, until you are confident that the employer and employment opportunity is legitimate. Use Monster’s resume visibility options to ‘Be Safe’.

Do not engage in any transaction in which you are requested to transfer or exchange currency or funds to a prospective employer. Remain alert for the Work at Home employers who require you to make an up-front investment.
Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
If you see a questionable job posting or suspect misuse of the Monster website or its brand, please report the suspected fraud to Monster.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, immediately report the fraud to your local police and contact Monster, so steps can be taken to ensure your safety. We also recommend that you file an online report with The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). For more information on how to conduct a safe job search, visit Monster’s Security Center. You can also check out LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com.

Best regards,

The Monster Team

Scams and the Holidays

Thanksgiving is just over a week away, and it is time to start thinking about the Holiday Season. We at Scam Victims United usually see an increase in the number of scam victims during this time of year. Many people are looking for a way to make some extra money to pay for the gifts that they want to give to family and friends, so they may sell something they own at an online classified ad site, like Craigslist, or they may look for an extra part-time job. It is because of this need for the extra money to get through the Holidays that some people may let their guard down and become more vulnerable to online scams.

Common online scams include the overpayment scams, in the form of counterfeit cashier’s checks and money orders, or work at home job offers such as the Secret Shopper Scam. Let’s review the signs of both.

Counterfeit Cashier’s check or Money Order Scam

You are selling an item over the Internet – it could be a used car or motorcycle, jewelry or even bred animals. You receive an email offer to purchase your item and the buyer says he’ll send a bank cashier’s check. The buyer is from Nigeria or “West Africa”, but has a business associate in the United States who will send you the cashier’s check. Then you are told that for some reason the check was already made out to you for an amount larger than your asking price. The buyer asks you to please deposit the check, wait for it to clear, and then send him the difference — “but only after the cashier’s check clears, of course.”

You are skeptical – but, sure enough, the bank cashier’s check arrives by Fed Ex, it looks real, your bank accepts the check, and the bank assures you the funds are in fact available. So you wait the time the bank recommends to verify that the check is clear and then you wire the difference to your buyer in Nigeria and prepare to ship your item.

A week later your bank calls: “We’re very sorry, but the cashier’s check was counterfeit” — a superb copy, but worthless. Your account is frozen. You must pay the bank back the entire amount of the cashier’s check. You may even be considered a fraud suspect yourself.

Secret Shopper Scam

The scammer will either place an ad in a legitimate classified listing, online or in print, or they will collect their victim’s names and email addresses off of resumes posted online. Some of them are even making “copy cat” websites of legitimate Secret Shopper companies to use in their scam to help convince the victim that this is all legitimate. For a listing of legitimate Secret Shopper companies, go to http://www.mysteryshop.org/

 The victim will be told that they have been hired as a Secret Shopper and will be sent a cashier’s check or money order to cash and use on their assignments. One of the assignments is to review the service at a Western Union or Money Gram location. They are given a name and address to wire money to, from the check that was sent to them, and told to fill out an evaluation form on the service received and email or fax that back to the company they are working for.

Everything seems fine, and some victims may even complete a few “assignments” before the check is discovered to be counterfeit. On average, it takes about 10 business days for the bank to realize that the check is counterfeit, but we have seen some cases where it has taken over 6 months. Once the bank dose find that the check is counterfeit, they will contact you demanding the return of the money and deduct the full amount of the check from your bank account. This sometimes leaves the victims with negative bank accounts.

For more information on the check clearing process and the banking terms, please read http://scamvictimsunited.blogspot.com/2009/08/banking-terms-not-as-clear-as-they.html

Shawn Mosch

Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com

There is strength in numbers!

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

Support Scam Victims United by shopping at http://shopittous.blogspot.com/

 

Another scam victim arrested

A while back I told you about a scam victim who was arrested. Stories like these always frustrate me because as a former scam victim I know the hurt and pain that you go through when you find out that you have been scammed, but these victims have that feeling plus more because they now have been arrested. They do not just face the financial recovery process that people like myself went through, but they also have to hire a lawyer to prove that they are the victim in the case and not the criminal. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

This victim was also responding to a Secret Shopper ad.

Here is the story of this latest scam victim in her own words . . .

I responded with all the requested information the next day. Shortly after I responded to this email I was asked by a local company to come into their office for an interview. I did and became very hopeful that I would get the job. I totally forgot about even responding to the Mystery Shopper email and wasn’t really expecting to hear anything from them. I few days later I received 2 Money Gram money orders @ $998.00 each sent to me via Fed Ex overnight mail. No other documents were inside. I couldn’t figure out where these came from and was not even thinking about that one email response I sent for the Mystery Shopper position. I had read an email in my AOL inbox a week or two before that I was a part of a class action lawsuit against AOL for some “footer” issue. I assumed these checks may have been a result of the class action suit since I had 2 screen names with AOL. I attempted to call Money Gram and went online and could not get any information regarding the tracking numbers on them. NO ONE EVER EVEN MENTIONED POSSIBLE FRAUD. When I went to the Money Gram station at the local Lucky store (in the town I have lived for 34 years and am now raising my 13 year old son) to cash these money orders I was arrested immediately. I was frisked, my car searched my purse emptied all in front of the Lucky store here in the quaint little community where most people know everyone. The 3 responding officers were absolutely sure that I was some check fraud “ring leader!” They would ask me where the money orders came from, I would answer telling them that they were sent via UPS next day air but I was unsure by who. Then I was told to shut up and stop lying. One officer told me “you and I both know no one sent these to you. You made these yourself” I was then “escorted” to Alameda County Jail where I remained for the next 10 hours until my $10,000.00 bail bond (for check fraud) was processed.

Once released from jail I made it my mission to catch this dirty rotten scum bag who was responsible for what I had been through. So…..I responded to an email that he had sent to me (which I didn’t even open until about 2 days after I was released from jail) indicating that he sent the package and instructions and he needs me to follow through with this task immediately (of sending his payment via Western Union) I played along with this guy to try to obtain as much information as I could. I advised him that the money orders were cashed and to please call me as I was a bit confused about something regarding his instructions. He called, about every other minute from that moment through the next 4 days. Once even forgetting to *67 therefore I was able to obtain his NIGERIAN telephone number. He even went so far as to send me text messages!!! He thought I had his money and he wanted it. I recorded our phone conversation on my MAC I MOVIE. I tracked down the gentleman whose email address they had hacked and were using to send the initial correspondence. He lived in S. Africa and was the administrator of a fishing forum. I explained to him my situation and advised him to contact the FBI before they contacted him as I had already given them his email information on my FBI report of this incident. He was grateful that I had taken so much of my time to track him down and explain this situation to him so that he could cancel his email address they were using before they had sent any further damaging money orders out to innocent people. I thought that since the local police didn’t really care about catching these losers that I would!!

I have since retained a very good lawyer. We have met with the DA who still is unsure whether he plans to file charges against me or not. I appeared in court last week and at that time there were no charges filed yet BUT THE CASE WAS NOT DROPPED EITHER!!! I go back to court November 5th.

Ever since this happened I cannot STOP talking about it. It helps for me to get past the anger. Initially, I was consumed by researching scammers, trying to catch this guy and others like him. Then I realized that law enforcement officials are inexperienced and unequipped to handle situations like mine. They are not interested in catching the people responsible and therefore I needed to direct my ager somewhere else and for that reason, I would love to tell my story in hopes to make people aware of these scammers.

Secret Shopper Scams

Since the Secret Shopper and Mystery Shopper scams seems to be increasing, I wanted to post an example of the email that the scammer would send to their would be victim.

Dear Representative,
You have been selected for an assignment as a Mystery Shopper. You willearn $300 been a mystery shopper. Your employment packet will includefunds for the shopping, a training assignment which will be sent to youon the same day you receive payment for the assignment. A Pay check would be sent toyou for the assignment in the form of a Check or money order. The paycheck would be for a certain amount which you would be required to cash atyour bank, deduct your salary and have the rest used for the evaluation atthe store that would be given to you to evaluate.Get back with the following details if interested

Email me the below details:
Full Name:
Full Address (Not P.o.box):
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone Number:
Nationality:A
lternative Email Address:

As a mystery shopper you work and shop together for pleasure and the payis $300 weekly on Part time basis, You only work 2-3hours twice in aweek. Do get back to the recruiting department of Mystery Shopper Inc.

You may contact me at msparecruits01@sify.com
Regards,
Chad Stinson
Personnel Manager

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