Email offers you are well-paid assignment as a mystery shopper evaluating the services of stores such as Walmart.
The email is fraudulent and it was not sent by a legitimate mystery shopper company. In fact, it is a scam designed to trick you into “laundering” the proceeds of dodgy cheques.
Subject: Welcome to 1st-Step Assignment ®
We have a customer service survey assignment in your location
and we will pay $395/ Assignment.
Which would come in the form of a cashiers check for you to
perform your assignment.
The job entails an Evaluation process such as visiting [Wal-
Send below information to get started If you are still
Register Form :
1. Full_Name :___
2 Your_Address :___
3. Citys_States_Countrys :___
4. Zip_Codes :___
5. Phones :___
6. Ages :___
7. Gender :___
8. Alt. E-mail :___
NB : [We prioritize candidates from USA & Canada to apply for
According to this email, which purports to be from a well-known mystery shopping organisation, there is a mystery shopping assignment available in your area. The email claims that you will be paid $395 to evaluate the services of stores such as Walmart. It explains that you will receive a cheque to enable you to carry out the assignment. It asks that you register your interest in the assignment by replying with your name and contact details.
However, the email is not from any legitimate company and the supposed assignment is just another money laundering scam.
If you reply and take up the offer, you will soon receive a cheque from the scammers. You will be instructed to cash the cheque, deduct $395 as your payment, and use the remainder for the mystery shopper assignments. But, the cheque will be for several thousand dollars, substantially more than you would need to carry out your Walmart evaluation. You will first be instructed to buy one or two minor items at a Walmart outlet and evaluate the service you receive. Then, you will be instructed to evaluate the service provided by your local Western Union office by wiring the remainder of the cash to a specified recipient, often described as another mystery shopper.
But alas, the cheque will turn out to be fake or stolen. And, you will have inadvertently turned most of the proceeds of the dodgy cheque into cash by wiring the money back to the criminals via Western Union. Of course, the “mystery shopper” you thought you wired the money to is, in fact, the criminals themselves.
And, to make matters worse, police investigations into the bogus cheques may lead directly to your door. Meanwhile, the criminals will have disappeared with their cash, leaving you holding the bundle.
Scams like this one are very common. Keep in mind that no genuine mystery shopper organisation is ever likely to send you a cheque for a large sum of money, have you deduct your payment, and then use the rest for your supposed mystery shopper assignments. That is simply not how genuine companies conduct business.
Last updated: February 24, 2017
First published: February 24, 2017
By Brett M. Christensen