The Green Dot MoneyPak Mystery Shop Scam

The scammers continue to come up with new angles for scams. One that is becoming more popular is a variation on the fake check scam. Instead of wiring the money to the scammer via MoneyGram or Western Union, the bad guys have their victims purchase Green Dot MoneyPak Cards or other pre-paid cards and send the PIN numbers to the scammers. Here is how it works:

Another Mystery Shopper Scam Email


Most mystery shopper scam emails are pretty easy to spot. They are full of errors. They come from free email addresses (e.g., Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) instead of emails using the company’s domain name (e.g., They ask you to respond to the email with all of your personal information instead of filling out an application at their website. Then along comes a scammer who is just a little more sophisticated. Someone who understands how email and websites work won’t fall {Read More}

Is This a Legitimate Mystery Shopping Company?

One of the common signs of a scam email is that the scammer uses a free email service, such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. But maybe the scammers are getting smarter. A shopper recently emailed about an “offer” she received via email. Based on her description, it sounded like a scam to me, but she said that the company name matched the email. They even had a website. But something had her worried. Turns out, she was right to worry.

Celebrate Safer Internet Day

public wifi

February 11 is Safer Internet Day, but adopting a few simple practices can make every day Safer Internet Day. Being safer on the Internet includes avoiding scams and keeping your data safe and secure when online. This article gives you some simple ways to stay safer.

A New Twist On an Old Scam Costs Man $30,000


By now regular readers of this blog are familiar with the mystery shopper check scam. Although people are still getting conned by that one every day, some scammers have moved on to a new version. A Florida man responded to an online ad from United Services and Consultants to be a “Merchandise Manager” for them. The supposed job involved buying electronics and shipping them overseas. The promised pay was $2700 every two weeks, plus commission. The scam victim went to {Read More}

Is This Mystery Shopping Company Legitimate?


Every day I am contacted by mystery shoppers, all with the same question: “Is this company legitimate?” The name of the company changes, but the question remains the same. The problem is that they are asking the wrong question. If the only thing you look at is whether the person who contacted you is using the name of a legitimate company, you are setting yourself up to be scammed. The truth is that people who will steal thousands of dollars {Read More}

Mystery Shopper Scams Try a New Angle


Scammers are taking advantage of technology to find new ways of scamming people. According to this story by consumer reporter Jeff Ehling at abc13/Houston, scammers are reaching out to potential victims with text messages. Several people have reported getting text messages offering mystery shopper jobs paying $50 an hour. Tempting, but what do we know about things that sound too good to be true? That’s right: They usually are too good to be true. People who respond to the text {Read More}

Victim of a Scam?


Don’t get scammed again by someone offering compensation or scam victim help.

Don’t Try to Scam the Mystery Shopper Scammers

There are many posts on this blog about the mystery shopper check scam. A recent comment on one of those posts asked: What would happen if I cashed the check in but never wired the money to anyone? Just kept it to myself. The thought came up but I wouldn’t ever do it. Cashing the check would be a bad idea, and I am glad that this commenter understood that. My response was that there is no money to keep–the {Read More}

Mystery Shopper Scam Lands California Man in Prison


A man from Santa Ynez California has been sentenced to serve six years in federal prison for operating a scam falsely promising bartending and mystery shopper jobs. Approximately 87,400 victims across the United States were defrauded by the scheme, which ran from 2001 through 2004 and caused nearly $6.2 million in losses. Stevan P. Todorovic, 40, was sentenced by United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. In sentencing Todorovic, Judge Hatter noted that, in addition to taking money from {Read More}