Better Business Bureau has been receiving an increased number of consumer inquiries regarding “Mystery Shopper” and “Mystery Consumer” opportunities. Consumers report receiving a letter by mail stating, “We are pleased to invite you to participate in a paid consumer research project in your area as a Mystery Shopper.” The letter mentions earning extra cash for secret shopper assignments at local businesses.
The letter instructs the recipient to deposit the enclosed check and use the funds to cover the first week’s shopping assignments. Specific instructions are provided on how to use the money and ultimately instruct the “shopper” to wire a portion of the money via Western Union.
BBB of Southern Arizona cautions you to be skeptical of anyone that sends you a check or money order and in turn asks you to deposit it and wire transfer money in return. You should never wire money to a stranger. The check you receive will be counterfeit and you will personally be out the money you wire to them. Typical scenarios that you should use caution in if you encounter them include:
- You are selling something online and the buyer overpays you and asks you to wire transfer back the extra dollars.
- You receive a check and notification that you have won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes. You are (more…)