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 check would eventually be returned and the bank would take back any money they had given, as well as charging fees on the returned check. And it could be worse than that.
Here is a news story from New Mexico television station KOB4 about what happened when one woman decided that she would “scam the scammers.”
The bottom line on this is that the woman who was arrested knew that someone was trying to scam her. She thought she would be clever and use the cash from the check to pay her bills and buy things. Apparently she had not considered the part about the check being worthless. And that passing a forged check is a crime.
Her bail was set at $2500–ironically, the same amount as the fake check she tried to cash.
I just don’t understand how people still think that when a check is sent to their house for a large amount of money, that it’s real! Why would a company randomly send you a check for $2500? It’s 2011! I have done a lot of mystery shops in the past couple years for numerous companies and I definitely know a red flag when I see one. What I really like about one company in particular (Bestmark) is that they have people that call you and that you can call whenever you have questions. I always feel secure because you can speak to a live person instead of only e-mailing.
Honestly, I’m 17 years old. Brand new to the secret shopper business deal and my first attempt was a scam. Unlike the lady in the video, I tried to deposit the check. The check, just like the process stated in the article, came up fraud and the amount was taken back and I was charged a fee. Now I have lost my bank account, which was holding my college fund, and I cannot have an account with the bank at any branch anymore. Reading this and watching that video just have proven me how serious this can get.
Cathy Stucker says
I’m so sorry this happened to you, but please remember that what happened had nothing to do with mystery shopping. The scammers are using a reputable industry, with which they have no association, to cheat people out of money.
If you want to mystery shop, apply to some of the 200 legitimate mystery shopping companies on this site. They will not charge you to apply and they will not scam you.
What a silly woman. I have gotten a check or two. What I do is contact the person the check is issued to then send them all of the correspondence, emails, etc.. to the company the check is written against. They have always been happy to get the check and they need 1,000,000 before the FBI will get involved. Let’s get those scammers stopped….fun helping!
hi im 25 and new to this mystery shopping. I am a victim also of the check scamming. Just like greg i received a check with a letter saying i won this lottery and it had the mystery shopper logo on it. i had jus recently signed up to be a myster shopper. so i thought it was a real check and proceeded to follow the instructions. got to the bank and tried to deposit the check. wasn’t able to get the cash. the teller kept asking me questions concering the check.. where it came from and who i work for and etc… so eventually 3-4 days later the check was said to be fake. they closed my account and fees was sent to me. scam indeed…. thanks for the video i know better now…
Edgar Larios says
Oh my god.thanks to this page exist,i have been contacting with someone named Mike Rupers,several days ago,after i read one anouncement in a local newspaper (at Nicaragua) offering such employment, wrote to them by mail.and after i sent some informations to him,just now, i received an e mail telling me he just have sent my first assigment,with one check of 3.500 U$, which i have to cash in a bank, retain 500 U$ for me after buy as a mystery shopper in a store, and resent the rest to Mia Tanbir in New York,USA.i was really expected waiting that check today,but afortunately,i decide to search out a little about,and more fortunately,i found this web and people like yours,and comentaries…i feel happy,but unhoped both, Why Some people do this?
Brian Wade says
I received a cheque in the mail today for 2,896.74 from a company called Partners Promotional Group Inc.Research. After talking to a Robert Johnson on the phone for a good hour or so.I cashed the cheque and deposited in my account. There is a list on page 1 that states I have to purchase a set amount of things,that is from that cheque,example $100.00 at Wal-Mart, $150.00 Sears, $50.00 McDonalds or Wendy’s, $150.00 Canadian Tire, $600.00 to be wired back to their company via through Western Union. It also says I keep $500.00 from that cheque I deposited into my account for my time. So I ask you,is this ligit,I asked the guy on the phone, and he said, to come to the local address with receipts, as well as a filled out evaluation of each one of the stores I will purchase from. Their address is 3619-61 Avenue SE in Calgary,Alberta Canada. Please advise me of what I should do.I am really confused and unaware of this after reading your website.He said the only way they could come back on me was if I didn’t complete the assignment in a reasonable amount of time.However my real job are from the hours of 4am to 12:30pm,so it was no sweat for me to do this.I am still undecided so what can I do,please advise asap. A worried Canadian Brian.
Cathy Stucker says
This is a scam. The check is a forgery, and you will be responsible for repaying the money to your bank.
Even if the bank releases funds, that doesn’t mean the check is good. This is definitely a scam. Do not contact the scammer again or respond to them. They are out to steal your money. Read the other examples here. This is always a scam.