So I got this check in the mail from what I'm sure to be a "mystery shopper" scam. What do I do?
I sent them my address because I spent a lot of time on Careerbuilder applying for real jobs, and without realizing they would actually SEND me a Postal money order (US). Do I shred it? Report it? What? I'm lost.
- 8 years agoFavorite Answer
There is no mystery shopper job. Shred the check, don't bother trying to send it back to the fake shipper's address on the envelope.
The next email will be from another of the scammer's fake names and free email addresses pretending to be the "secretary/assistant/accountant" and will demand you cash a large fake check sent on a stolen UPS/FedEx billing account number and send most of the "money" via Western Union or moneygram back to the scammer posing as the "supply company" while you "keep" a small portion. When your bank realizes the check is fake and it bounces, you get the real life job of paying back the bank for the bounced check fees and all the bank's money you sent to an overseas criminal.
Western Union and moneygram do not verify anything on the form the sender fills out, not the name, not the street address, not the country, not even the gender of the receiver, it all means absolutely nothing. The clerk will not bother to check ID and will simply hand off your cash to whomever walks in the door with the MTCN# and question/answer. Neither company will tell the sender who picked up the cash, at what store location or even in what country your money walked out the door. Neither company has any kind of refund policy, money sent is money gone forever.
When you refuse to send him your cash he will send increasingly nasty and rude emails trying to convince you to go through with his scam. The scammer could also create another fake name and email address like "FBI@ gmail.com", "police_person @hotmail.com" or "investigator @yahoo.com" and send emails telling you the job is legit and you must cash the fake check and send your money to the scammer or you will face legal action. Just ignore, delete and block those email addresses. Although, reading a scammer's attempt at impersonating a law enforcement official can be extremely funny.
Now that you have responded to a scammer, you are on his 'potential sucker' list, he will try again to separate you from your cash. He will send you more emails from his other free email addresses using another of his fake names with all kinds of stories of great jobs, lottery winnings, millions in the bank and desperate, lonely, sexy singles. He will sell your email address to all his scamming buddies who will also send you dozens of fake emails all with the exact same goal, you sending them your cash via Western Union or moneygram.
Do you know how to check the header of a received email? If not, you could google for information. Being able to read the header to determine the geographic location an email originated from will help you weed out the most obvious scams and scammers. Then delete and block that scammer. Don't bother to tell him that you know he is a scammer, it isn't worth your effort. He has one job in life, convincing victims to send him their hard-earned cash.
Whenever suspicious or just plain curious, google everything, website addresses, names used, companies mentioned, phone numbers given, all email addresses, even sentences from the emails as you might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find already posted online. You can also post/ask here and every scam-warner-anti-fraud-busting site you can find before taking a chance and losing money to a scammer.
6 "Rules to follow" to avoid most fake jobs:
1) Job asks you to use your personal bank account and/or open a new one.
2) Job asks you to print/mail/cash a check or money order.
3) Job asks you to use Western Union or moneygram in any capacity.
4) Job asks you to accept packages and re-ship them on to anyone.
5) Job asks you to pay visas, travel fees via Western Union or moneygram.
6) Job asks you to sign up for a credit reporting or identity verification site.
Avoiding all jobs that mention any of the above listed 'red flags' and you will miss nearly all fake jobs. Only scammers ask you to do any of the above. No. Exceptions. Ever. For any reason.
If you google "fake check cashing job", "fraud Western Union scam", "check mule moneygram scam" or something similar you will find hundreds of posts from victims and near-victims of this type of scam.
Since that scammer intended to steal your money, he did not give you his real life information. All you have is one of his fake names, one of his free email addresses, one of his fake stories and one of his paid-for-in-cash cell phone numbers. None of that information is going to help your local law enforcement agency track down that anonymous scammer sitting in a cyber cafe half way around the world from you.
- KittysueLv 78 years ago
if it's a postal money order, turn it over to your local post office and tell them to give to the postal inspector
That is NOT how mystery shopping works - this is a money laundering scam that will get you arrested if you fall for it as this woman and thousands of other people find out each year
1 - Real mystery shopping NEVER sends you a check or money order before a shop. You always spend your own money and are reimbursed 30 days after you have submitted your evaluation form and receipts
2 - Real mystery shopping ONLY pays on average $5-15 per shop with the maximum around $25 for an assignment that takes several hours. Scammers will promise you $50 or more per shop
3 - NO real mystery shopping company will ever send you out on your first assignment before they have issued and you have returned both an I-9 and W-4 AND you have completed their training
- kirkerLv 44 years ago
I have been given the comparable examine approximately six months in the past. It got here in a undeniable white envelope, postmarked from Canada, my call grow to be hand written on the front of the envelope with out return handle. i presumed it regarded fishy, so I googled the business corporation call and there's a business corporation by employing that call, yet no the place might desire to i locate an worker with the comparable call of the guy interior the letter. additionally I regarded up the financial organization on the examine and can desire to no longer locate that particular financial organization interior the region that it says on the examine. Throw it away, or possibly checklist it.
- Wayne ZLv 78 years ago
Option 1) Shred it.
Option 2) Take it to the post office and give it to a postal inspector.
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- Go with the flowLv 78 years ago
It's a fake. Please know this. Deposit it, and it will bounce (with time).
I just got an emal on this scam just yesterday in my email.
Google: Mystery Shopper scam
Days, if not years worth of reading.
They will ask you to send money back.
- rtfmLv 78 years ago
Shred it, throw it out, burn it, make a paper airplane with it ... do anything except cash it.
You can report it if you want, but ... that's an exercise in futility.