Don't Fall for Mystery Shopper Scams - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Don't Fall for Mystery Shopper Scams


It sounds like an easy way to make a little extra money.  You open your mailbox and see a letter offering you a chance to earn income by becoming a mystery shopper.

Thousands of people have received these letters in the mail, but officials warn it could be a scam.

"The person at home may think they have won a lottery or that their prayers have been answered and now they are working from home," said Glen McKechnie, U.S. Postal Inspector.

The letter says you'll be evaluating the quality of service in a store or testing a specific product.
The envelope the scammers send usually includes a counterfeit check or money order you're supposed to cash. The letter instructs people to go shopping for the product they'll be evaluating.

"Once they buy the items, they are told to keep the items and mail the additional money back to the scammer," said McKechnie.

Again, the checks are counterfeit.  The money ends up coming out of the victim's account, and they are responsible for the money lost.

Postal inspectors say consumers need to be on the lookout for these scams.

"That solicitation can say anything, as long as there is an attractive hook to it and it's accompanied by a check," said McKechnie.

Two pieces of advice:

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to check out any business that tries to solicit you.
  • Never send money back to anyone who sends you a check or money order, unless you know exactly who they are and you're certain they are legitimate.

Click here for more information on mystery shopper scams.





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