Jacquelyn Lynn - Online Consumer Advice and Commentary

Jacquelyn Lynn is a business writer whose dynamic books and insightful articles have been helping business owners and managers work smarter and more profitably for more than two decades. She is the author of Entrepreneur’s Almanac, Online Shopper’s Survival Guide and co-author of Make Big Profits on eBay, as well as a regular contributor to Entrepreneur magazine. For more information and for the link to her business blog, visit www.jacquelynlynn.com.

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Location: Central Florida

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Secret Shopper Fraud: A new twist on an old scam

I recently received the following e-mail from the Economic Crimes Unit of the Seminole County (FL) Sheriff’s Office:

The Altamonte Springs (FL) Police Department received a complaint from a resident who received a letter and counterfeit check in the mail from a company called “Paid Surveys” out of Baltimore, MD. The letter advised he had been selected to be a secret shopper and gave him a list of tasks with places to go to shop. They were warned to keep the shopping confidential. The check was to be used to make specific purchases at the locations which included a Western Union and Money Gram office. The letter advised that when he went to Western Union and Money gram he was “To pose as a potential customer sending a payment to Carol Hernandez, a relative of yours in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada”. It asked that all receipts and a customer service evaluation tool be sent back to them to verify they spent the funds properly. Of course some of the money, $881.00 was to be kept by the secret shopper as their fee. It even had an “honest and ethical conduct” section to be filled out and returned.

If you receive solicitations similar to this, contact your local law enforcement agency.




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