Beware the “Myster Shopper” email scam

My email filters are usually pretty good at catching nonsense like this. Yours probably are, too. This one got through, however, so I thought I’d toss it out there, even if only so that other people Googling to see if it’s legit will have more information to go on.

The scam starts with an email, such as this one I just got titled “Welcome to Mystery Shoppers”

From info_tech01@email.utah.edu

JOB DESCRIPTION:
1. You will receive funds for the task.
2. You will receive instructions for the task you via email in the location and details of the task.
3. You must complete the task as quickly as possible and quietly.
4. You will be asked to visit the business location for doing good business restaurants, shopping stores, etc.

The assignment will pay you $300/assignment of 2 assignment a week.

Provide the following details if you interested :

* First/Last Name:
* Email:
* Street:
* Citys-States-Countrys:
* ZIP Code:
* Phone:
* Gender:

We a wait your urgent response, So we look forward working with you.

Thank you,
Michael Huggin
@Copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved_

Hmmm, you get paid for an easy task and don’t need to provide anything more than basic information? Sounds enticing, right? It can’t hurt just to check it out …

But here’s how the scam works. First, you sign up for the job in the hopes of getting some easy money, figuring you can just bail out if it looks like they will rip you off. You’re smart, after all. You won’t get suckered. You’ll know when they’re about to rip you off.

So you sign up and then get a money order in the mail via UPS or FedEx. It will be for $1,000 or more. You are instructed to cash the money order against your bank account, take out your payment (usually between $200 and $300), and a small amount of money to go secret shopping. Boom, cash in hand. You just made money!

You get a secret shopping task. You go buy something. Task finished.

Right away, you get another task. The remainder of that $1,000 or $2,000 or $3,000 you were sent by money order is to be wired to another secret shopper. You’re going to “test” the services of Western Union or a company like it. Easy enough, and you’ve already subtracted your pay from it and have your cash in hand, so no loss to you. You wire the money and log your report.

But a few days later your bank informs you the money order you were sent was fake. The amount you had cashed comes out of your account. Poof! You were just scammed out of all that money you just wired. There is no way to get it back and no one to go after, because the scammers have moved on and disappeared.

And that, my friends, is why if something is too good to be true, it usually is.

So if you get this email, steer clear.

4 Comments

  1. Maria

    Thanks for this post. I just got the same exact email yesterday. Don’t know if people notice that the reply address is access.ms@email.com not the Utah address that makes one think it might be legit. I didn’t respond though. I was just curious of the email address.

    Reply
    1. Eric San Juan (Post author)

      I did pick up on that and probably should have mentioned it in my post. Thanks for pointing it out!

      Reply
  2. Paulina

    I worked for a fast food. Restaurant. For many years. And i knew that we had a mistery Shopper tha qualified the cuality of the food an the service. And if the store. Gets a good. Grade we get a bonus .but I never. Knew. How they hire them

    Reply
    1. Eric San Juan (Post author)

      Interesting. I guess I should have assumed fast food had secret quality control people like that, I just never thought of it. I’d love that job, except I’d probably gain 60 pounds in the first six months!

      Reply

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