Warning: Mystery shopping scam letter circulating - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

12 ON YOUR SIDE ALERT

Warning: Mystery shopping scam letter circulating

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – If you're look for a job, crooks are betting on your desperation. Phony offers are popping up in mail boxes offering you a job and a huge check up front.

Carolyn Marrow is savvy NBC 12 viewer. When she got a job offer in the mail with a check for over 2-thousand dollars attached, she could only do one thing.

"I am doing what I am doing now, all I could do is laugh," she said. 

She knew not everyone would think this was a laughing matter, she knew someone one would fall for it, so she did some investigating.

"I said no, no, no that doesn't sound right. I said okay, let me go to the bank and ask the bank teller first and then I will call 12 On Your Side and see wether they have heard of this before. It just didn't sound right, it sounded bogus," said Carolyn. 

The letter claimed to be from a legitimate mystery shopping company, called Shoppers' Critique International.

We contacted the company. It says it didn't send the letter. In fact, on it's website, Shoppers' Critique International, warns people looking to be mystery shoppers to lookout for these phony offers. The company says it would never send you a check in the mail as part of a job offer -- or ask you to transfer or wire money.

"The jobs I went for over the internet for the very same thing, it doesn't describe it like this, so that is what made me think. I have also watched Channel 12 where you all had scammers on and mostly it was the African dudes way over on the other side of the world," Carolyn said. 

Carolyn's offer letter told her to shop at popular stores and said it was okay to cash and use some of the money from that big check. She was then told to wire $1,900 plus a transfer fee. She called the number in the offer.

"He conveniently said don't show this to anyone. When he said that, hmm, okay, shut the door," she said.

Her bank confirmed her suspicion.

"The bank teller told me that two other people came in with the same check. Don't deposit it, Don't cash it," Carolyn added.

If you really want to be a mystery shopper, visit websites like Mystery Shopping Providing Association. It has a list of legitimate companies. Remember, never pay to become a mystery shopper and keep in mind, no one will send you a check up front.

You can find more helpful information in the links below.

Https://www.shopperscritique.com/shoppers/scamalert.aspx  

http://mysteryshop.org/

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt151.shtm

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