Finally, a story about a mystery shopper scam that has a happy ending.
Back in January, Kathy Jones of Chesterfield, Virginia wired $4680 via Western Union as part of what she thought was a mystery shop. You know the rest, right? Shortly after sending the money, her credit union informed her that the check she had received bounced and she would have to repay the money.
The happy twist?
The scammer never picked up the money. Usually the scammers pick up the cash immediately after the victim lets them know it was sent. Once the money has been picked up, it is gone and there is no chance the victim will get it back. However, because Jones’ scammer forgot or got nervous or for some unknown reason never picked up the cash, she got lucky.
A Richmond, VA detective discovered the unclaimed cash and advised Jones to cancel the transfer. She did, and Western Union returned the money to her. Now she has the cash to pay back her credit union.
Don’t count on the next scammer being this lazy, stupid or unlucky. However, if you are reading this immediately after wiring money to a scammer (and if you wired money to someone you do not know, you wired money to a scammer) IMMEDIATELY call the transfer company (e.g., Western Union, MoneyGram) and try to cancel the transfer.