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 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:10 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:54 am
Posts: 1
I had this same scam sent to me. Just received the check Friday night, but I didn't deposit it (lucky for me). It was a man named Joe Gains from Dorme Research Inc. I thought they were going to mail me instructions and instead I received a check for over $2,000.00. That threw up a BIG red flag for me.

I just emailed Mr. Gains this morning to see if I could get a phone number, or more information.

I'm wondering what to do with the check? And I also just wanted other people to know that this scam is still ongoing. Should I contact Western Union to let them know?

 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:09 pm
Posts: 1
Hello! I replied to an ad off of Craigslist- for a Mystery Shopper position. The emails I received back seemed legit, if not laced with spelling errors. I received a FedEx envelope today with a check in my name for $2850.00--the name on the check is Spelman College, in Atlanta, Ga, and the return address on the FedEx package says Vision Products- 7453 Deering Ave, Canoga Park, Ca 91303. The check is drawn off of Wachovia Bank...It just doesnt seem right...have you had other people receive checks? I havent cashed it yet-- dont know if I want to... I certainly do not have the money in my account to just cash it-- Let me know if this helps. Thanks!

 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:39 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Third Rock from the Sun
The checks are fake. The best thing to do with the checks is to shred them. Do not respond to any more emails you receive from the scammer. You may want to block the scammer.

NEVER send money

Media Reporter for

Google is your best online friend. Google everything.

For Romance Love scams

 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:21 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:51 am
Posts: 1
I applied for a job in the newspaper the Independant (Irish). It said for admin jobs please send your c.v to pamela hasselhoff.

I then recieved an email from John Bateman, HR in Alex Donaldson & Sons saying that i got the job and to send on further details.

Below is the email i recieved this morning:

Dear Emma,

We sincerely apologies for the late communication from us .Due to large number numbers of application We receive for the position of Mystery shopper/Survey Agent.‏We have decided to select you among the list number of application receive and you have been approve for this position in our company for the post of Mystery shopper/Survey Agent. We have therefore outlined your responsibilities.

You will be required to visit any Western Union office closest to you to mystery shop there.The report we got is that most western union outlets in the country have been encouraging lots of lapses, top of which is on services. You will be required to send a part of the payment you received to one of our mystery shopper agent solely to observe the services of the western union outlet that you are using. The job major objective is to find out if the western union outlet that you will be visiting is one of those that are on the lapses state. You are advised therefore to be very observant while you are at the job and note these: The manner to which the staff there attend to you, the response manner, the professional carriage, and observe for any form of irregularities whatsoever.

Expected Duties:
• Acting as normal customer while on duty is your fundamental duty.
• Writing report on findings.
• Asking questions on fellow customers or staff of the establishment you are expected to mystery shop.
• You are expected to provide a copy of the receipt of any purchased items where applicable.
• Communication by email.
• Any other duty outlined by your supervisor in-line with the normal duties of a mystery shopper.

You must understand that your personal judgement is very essential as we expect you to express this in your report.

Having explained to you your job functions and the company expectations of you, We believe you may have omitted something, and that’s the fact that we always want people who are passionate for excellence to work for Alex Donaldson & Son Ltd‏ as Mystery shopper/Survey Agent. In your work , you will have little or no supervision on your own. We stated in our first mail to you that in addition to your salary, you will enjoy fringe benefits. The fringe benefits will include allowed Sick leaves. You will also enjoy “excellent work” compensation which is always as a non-cash gift item, Vacation Leaves.

We will want you to resume work immediately. You would be sent a certified bank fund payment check for this assignment and we pay €205 per Assignment.You will be working four times in a week; three hours is the working duration in any given day.

Confirm to us your bio data which will include First and Last name, Residential address, City, State, Zip code, Telephone numbers and any other information you deem important to your proper identification. Also, we have included your expected duties again to highlight the importance of this section. Get back to us with the requested information and a note that you understand your expected job duties.

We shall start dispatching your first survey assignment as soon as we verify your bio data information and we shall provide you a reference confirmation of your assignment as soon as it's been dispatch.

Finally, We will want to emphasize that we thoroughly appreciate efficient communication with our employees, you should inform us of state of affairs any time the need arises and if we require an update on something, We will want that update to come as and when due.

John Bateman
Head HR Dept.
Mystery Shopper
Alex Donaldson & Son Ltd‏

Too good to be true as the company he says that he is from is a furniture company in Antrim, with a disconnected phone number

 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:48 pm
Posts: 2
I can't believe this thread started in 2003, and the same email scam is circulating. I admit, I was suckered in by the original craigslist job posting (I am currently unemployed, and I read Mystery Shopping can be a legit part-time opportunity. How do you know which ones to trust??). Anyway..

This is the original posting in craigslist (California):
Subject Line = Research Shopper
Primary Responsibilities:
Create full Research shop using appropriate templates and send back completed report to the corresponding sales rep within 48 hours of request
Ensure any Research shops requested by a prospect dealer are properly assigned as leads to appropriate sales rep
Job Requirements:
Excellent oral, and written communications skills
Ability to learn salesforce and maintain/develop corresponding processes
Excellent in developing processes and organizing and managing data
Aptitude for, and willingness to learn the technical aspects SmartQuote/SmartFollow products
Excellent interpersonal skills, and a high degree of professionalism
Apply for more information

I responded, and the first email to me came from 'TrendSource Inc', but note that the email is from a gmail account, and they mention the company as 'Trendsource Agency' in the body of the email:

Dear Applicant,

Thanks for viewing our advert on Craig's List...

TrendSource Agency are group of professionals hired by companies to go to other companies and act like customers. This Mystery Shopping allows us to examine services rendered by their staffs as no one knows we are not really shoppers.For you to join our team and become a Mystery Shopper, We first have to confirm your details. Funds will be provided and you will be directed to an office or business to purchase or process various items.

After your shopping is complete, you will be asked to write out your comments on specific details which we would give you.

Examples of such details are:
• How long did it take to get services, were you required to wait or was service prompt.
• Smartness and courteousness of the sales person who waited on you.
• Service professionalism and knowledge of product.
• On occasion you might be asked to upset the sales person to see their reaction.

This is a part time job and you will only be required to work from 4 to 6 hours per week for which you will earn up to $1600 monthly, No upfront fees is required not even a cent.

To qualify for the position provide us with the following requirements:
Full Name :
Address :
City :
State :
Zip Code :
Cell Phone :
Home Phone
Gender :
Age :
Email Address :
Do you have a Chase Checking Account ? :
IM ( Yahoo, hotmail or AIM ) :
A CHASE BANK ACCOUNT Is Required Because Payment Will Be Sent To You Via CHASE BANK QuickPay ( Your Personal Account Info " WILL NOT " Be Required )

Recruit Department
TrendSource AGENCY.
Copyright © TrendSource
All rights reserved.
© 2000- 2012 Quantros, Inc.

I responded with my info, and immediatly became suspisious when they emailed me at 4am, only only 7 - 8 hrs after I emailed, stating an 'extensive background search' was conducted and they were happy to approve my work as a Mystery Shopper. I'll post the last email in a new post (in case I've already exceeded my space here...)

 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:48 pm
Posts: 2
..And here is the final email I received (this is where I started a more expensive internet search, and found these scam forums - Thank you!) Same email as already posted by others, but wanted to show that they scammers are still recycling emails from 2003:

Your application has been viewed and approved.

Through extensive background checks, your information has been reviewed and processed. It is a pleasure to inform you that you have been cleared to be one of our agents. The Mystery Evaluation Team invites you to run a survey on one prominent company in your area.

Your First Task is to evaluate a Western Union Location closest to you.

The management and staff of Concord International has reported some lapses in the services of the Western Union locations in some locations around the AMERICA CONTINENT .Their complains were based on reports which their customers forwarded anonymously and Phone calls which were also made to the head office. The Western Union locations were reported for evaluation for the following reasons ;

(i) Slow services
(ii) Unbalanced exchange rate
(iii) Poor services
(iv) Rudeness to customers
(v) Excess charge

Your Secret Evaluation would be:

1) To make a transfer of fund from a Western Union location closest to our Mystery shopper in another city or Country, and the funds would be picked up by our Mystery shopper at the exact location which a customer reported her funds stolen from.

2) You would have to record the time at which you go to the location and how many minutes it took you to get service. You would be sent a transfer which would cover your payment of $150 for the duty and $50 for transportation/gas as the case may be. As soon as you receive the transfer, you would cash in at your bank, and deduct your $200 ($150 commission and $50 transportation/gas) and use the rest of the money for the services.

3) Upon receiving the funds (that would come inform of an online wire transfer via chase bank), After you must have cashed the money transferred to your account, you will look for a Western Union location around you to carry out your task (that is wiring the funds to another agent/mystery shopper provided to you in the email you will receive later on). You would have to keep a comprehensive report on every activities you carry out.

4) Your Identity should be kept confidential as the job states (secret shopper), on no account should you let the cashier/Western Union personnel knows you are performing a customer service evaluation as this might not give exact result. You would also provide me with the name of the cashier that attended to you along with the name of the Western Union location and address. Your report should be drafted and sent to me via email immediately as well as the Western Union transfer details (amount sent and money transfer control number).

5) Basically, here are the details needed ;

a. Western Union location and address
b. Name of the cashier
c. How long it took to get services
d. Smartness of the attendant
e. Customer Service Professionalism
f. Amount sent and money transfer control number
This is going to be done like 13-20 times in a month (depending on how fast you can be) so you’ll be making about $2500-$4000 a month for yourself. There are no fees involved in this and we do not need you to pay any money to do this. This is legitimate and bears no risk. It is all as simple as I have explained to you.

I assume after reading you understand that the task is very easy and not breathe taking and I hope we can really nurture a good business relationship so that we can set up a branch for you to manage for us. As soon as our AGENTS are ready to start sending payments (within the next 24-48 hours) you'll be sent an email notification.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this email so that I can understand you got it.
TrendSource AGENCY.
Copyright © TrendSource
All rights reserved.
© 2000- 2011 Quantros, Inc.

 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:12 pm 
Site Admin/Co-Founder

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 10:09 pm
Posts: 2921
CMAS2R21 wrote:
I can't believe this thread started in 2003, and the same email scam is circulating. I admit, I was suckered in by the original craigslist job posting (I am currently unemployed, and I read Mystery Shopping can be a legit part-time opportunity. How do you know which ones to trust??).

Even worse than the fact that this thread has been going for 9 years is the fact so little has changed over those 9 years to help protect people from these scams. There are loopholes in the banking AND the money wiring system that the scammers use to their advantage, and we NEED to close those loopholes!

A simple sign in the store saying "We don't use Secret Shoppers . . . if you are here to Secret Shop us it is a scam" would help a LOT.

To find a "real" one, use a local company . . . work with someone you have spoken with/interviewed with and not someone that just sent an email.

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of
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 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:01 pm
Posts: 2
This scam is crazy!!

So 2 days ago I saw this ad on Kijijji and craigslist looking for mystery shoppers so I sent my resume and then within a few hours i got this

Dear Sir/Madam,(sorry for the late response/you are still needed for the mystery shopping job)

Our Consulting firm is presently conducting surveys and stealth evaluation of companies and organizations. We need Mystery Shoppers From any where in Canada, as part-time or full time worker worker. No application fee Required . Applicant must be 18 years and above, should check email 2 -3 times in a day to read updates from us and be honest. Our mystery shoppers pose as normal customers to perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints or behaving in a certain way and then providing detailed reports or feedback about their experiences. You will earn $300 on each transaction by being our Survey agent/mystery shopper.Your employment packet include business evaluation form and a training Instructions which will be sent to you via email after you have received payment.A Certified check/money order will be sent to you for the first Evaluation by our finance company,you are to deduct your $300 commission, and the rest will be used for the evaluation at the store that you will be instructed to go.This Evaluation can take place five times or more in a week so you can end up earning for yourself close to $1500 or more in a week. This job is an opportunity you wouldnt want to miss as it is flexible and can suit your own timing as a student or full time worker.

1. Business evaluation form: This is the form you are required to fill after you visit any shopping mall in your area as directed,you will be given the store name and address which you are required to evaluate its customer service and quality control after their services are rendered to you. You will be required to fill a form to rate the employee(s), the form will be given to you after the evaluation at the store.

2. Training Instructions: You are hired to evaluate the quality of services of the store or mall that will be selected by you and very nearest to you . You are needed to rate the employees.Interested shopper should please Enclose their information below for you to start with us.

First Name:
Last Name:
Contact Address:
Postal Code:
Cell Phone:
Home Phone:
Email Address:
Present Occupation:
Best Times To Call:
Thanks for responding, We will wait for your full details .
P:S: After you have emailed your information to us ,You should endeavor to check your email 2-3 times in a day to read updates from us.

Best Regards,
Consultant / HR Manager
Justin Neiley
Delivering simple solutions and achievable business objectives!
Secret Shopper®
(206) 249 9030

which seemed slightly weird because my info was already in my resume that I sent...
i thought it was a bit suspicious so i looked up the website dot COM not .org like it says (i guess i'm a little blind) and thought it looked legit.. the email was a bit weird i looked it up and i found some articles in halifax
so i filled out the info needed and then the next day (today) I got this email

Dear Survey Agent,

You have been Accepted as one of our Mystery shopper/Survey Agent. You will be evaluating Western Union Services in your neighborhood, Kindly check out for two Western union Agent outlets you will like to evaluate, make sure the outlets you will chose are close to your area as much as possible,
You will have to send the name and address of the two locations to us,Please note that you are to act Cool, Calm and Confident through out the period which you will be carrying out your survey at the store, in order not to arouse any suspicion. you will make a transaction at each of the Western union, You will write a report about the customer services , you will send your report back to us via Email, you will have to use the following pointers to prepare your report :

1) How long it took you to get services.
2)Ambiance/Outlook of the Shop/Outlet
3) Smartness of the attendant
4)Customer service professionalism
5)Reaction of personnel under pressure
6)Information that you think would be helpful
7)Your comments and impressions.

A package will be sent out to you, inside the package you will find your Compensation payment and other fund you will use to carryout your surveying process , You must not use your personal money to complete any of the surveying process and there will be no reimbursement of any kind since we are providing you with all the fund your will need to carry out the survey. An Evaluation Instruction will be given to your through email, this will tell you what to do at the Western union locations and how to expend the fund at each location. Please reply this Email and give us the name and address of the two Western union location you will be evaluating .
Thank you.

The Hiring Manager,

But what happened to Justin's email footer/signature
so i went to the right website and read that it asked for $34 and it was a scam and yaddah yaddah but because they were offering to give me money to give to western union plus some money to keep i thought okay why not...
But the fact that they used a website that was marked online as a scam made me wonder and dig deeper...why did the number trace back to seattle washington when this ad is suppose to be for mystery shoppers canada.
Nice try scammer, nice try.

 Post subject: Re: Western Union Secret Shopper Scam victims - Must Read!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:01 pm
Posts: 2
sheeesh what a scam..this one almost had me

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