Unfortunately, we recently have seen an increase in the Secret/Mystery Shopper scam.
Here is how this scam works:
You are sent a counterfeit cashier’s check or money order and told to cash it and wire the majority of the funds to a bank account via MoneyGram or Western Union, keeping the rest as ‘pay’ for your assistance. As the FDIC requires banks make funds available on cashier’s checks and money orders within 1-5 days, the scammers are counting on you receiving the funds and making the wire transfer quickly — before the check or money order clears the bank. By the time you learn the check or money order was counterfeit, you are out the money you sent. You also may incur fees for a bounced check.
When you get texts or emails, “Think Before You Tap or Click.” Do not assume they all are legitimate and never provide confidential personal or company information in response to unsolicited texts or emails.
In order to avoid these scams, this link goes to a complimentary list of red flags to watch for in texts and emails. You might print it out and keep close to your computer, and share it with your family, friends, and co-workers.
Please contact your local police department if you have been a victim of the Mystery Shopper or any other scam. Also, file your complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov. You may contact the Federal Trade Commission for more information on scam alerts.