GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A concerned stay-at-home mom in Waupun reached out to Target 2 after getting a check in the mail for $1600. The catch? It said all she had to do is shop at Walmart and give a review. Seems too good to be true, right?
Tammy Elliott looked into it and sure enough, it's a scam.
The letter stated: "Congratulations. You've been pre-qualified to take part in the market force secret shopper program".
The woman who received the check in the mail contacted Target 2 and turned over the check to police. We started our search online at the Better Business Bureau. We found “Market Force Information" in Colorado which is a real company that employs secret shoppers. The company has an "A+" rating from the BBB.
On the Market Force Website we found the same logo used in that letter and the name on the letter was Brad Christian who is on the website as Chief Customer Officer. If you stopped here, you might believe the letter was legit.
We contacted Market Force in Colorado and a company representative told Target 2 this is a scam.
Susan Bach with the Wisconsin BBB said mystery shopping is an industry ripe for scamming.
“The scammer has wisened up, instead of picking a random name for their mystery shopping scam they've assumed the identity of a mystery shopping company with a great reputation,” said Bach.
Bach showed us the uptick in similar scams on the BBB Scamtracker website.
“I think we're going to see a lot of these type of scams this time of year, because people are searching for an easy quick way to make money. This seems like a fun job because you're going to get paid to shop,” said Bach.
Bach said legitimate mystery shopping companies pay after the assignment is complete. Market Force tells Target 2 the typical pay is 10 to 20 dollars per assignment.