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 Post subject: Mystery Shopping Scam on CL using a "legit" company...?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:28 am
Posts: 1
I usually steer clear of CraigsList for employment opportunities due to things like this but I happened to submit my resume to a listing that had the title, "Customer Service Agent" and unluckily for me, I kept all my contact information on my resume, including my address. I am so concerned over my address being in the hands of these scammers! Can anyone who has gone through this help reassure me that everything will be okay or at least share your experience and what you did to protect yourself?

What gets to me is that they are now using a seemingly legit companies name? (not sure about Mercantile Systems (http://www.mercsystems.com) being legit . Perhaps the scammers are taking it a bit further to get over on people? IDK.) Anyway, once I received the first email I knew it was a scam and I want to thank you guys for even creating this website for ANYONE who might get scammed and actually thinks to Google before going through with anything. I'll admit, at first part of me was wanting it to be legit but I couldn't fight my gut feeling and that's exactly how I ended up here for reassurance. Plus... Mystery Shopping and Conducting Agent IS NOT the same title as "Customer Service Agent" listed on CL.

Anyway, here is the email that I got from this "Connie"... much like your usual scam emails.

Hello ,
> You have been Accepted as one of our Conducting Agent. You
> will be evaluating Wal-Mart Stores and Western Union Services in your
> neighborhood, kindly check out for one Wal-Mart store and one Western
> Union agent outlet you will like to evaluate , make sure the store and
> the outlet you will chose are close to your area as much as possible ,
> you will have to send the name and address of the two location 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 be shopping at Wal-Mart
> stores and also make a transaction at 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 impre ssions.
>
> Payments will be mailed out to you, which you will expend in carrying
> out all that will be required of you including your compensation and
> Transportation fee. All Other Instructions will be sent out to you as
> soon as Evaluation commences.
>
> Please reply this Email and give us the name and address of the
> Wal-mart and Western Union location you will be evaluating so that we
> can mail out the payment as soon as possible.
>
> Thank you.
> Connie Morang
> Copyright © Mercantile Systems


I played with them and asked for contact, numbers and website for their company (of course they never divulged any information)... I NEVER submitted any other information about myself except my original email with my resume and this is the email that I got the next day.

Good Morning,
How are you doing today this is to update you that your payment is
now on the way i will send you tracking number and all neccessary
information you will need to get started and complete your assignment
as soon as possible i want you to update me immediately you got the
certified check so that i can get back to me asap so i can email you
with all the info needed thank you once again.


So, I finally replied with this... doubt it's going to work but it at least felt good to send it! lol

"Connie"

No one in their right mind is going to work for a "business" without proper
identification and answers to questions for address, contact number, etc. of
this "company". Not one legit, professional company would have a gmail email
address for their business. Who exactly do you think you are trying to fool?
Do NOT contact this email any further, you've done enough damage to yourself
already. All information and emails that have transpired since the posting
on CraigsList are officially being handled by the police department, FBI and
to the IC and IC3. Do not send anymore emails nor harassing emails to this
account or threatening emails to this email account. You've been caught
red-handed. I hope the weather is great in Nigeria for such a harsh reality
about to hit you.

Sincerely,
IC Agent

Now, when I said IC I took off the 3 because I know IC3 is legit but I wanted to scare them further (lol) WITHOUT posing as any kind of agent. I used IC by thinking of Information and Computers... LOL! I've blocked them but as everyone else has asked, do we refuse the package, tear it up or what? No matter what it just hits me deep that these people have my address and phone number!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Shopping Scam on CL using a "legit" company...?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:52 am 
Offline
Gold Member

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:38 am
Posts: 63
Location: England, UK
PinkCoco wrote:
I am so concerned over my address being in the hands of these scammers! Can anyone who has gone through this help reassure me that everything will be okay or at least share your experience and what you did to protect yourself?

This type of scam would indicate that it's your money they are after, not your identity, so it would be unlikely to go any further than the comms you have already had.

PinkCoco wrote:
What gets to me is that they are now using a seemingly legit companies name?

The website you quoted seems to be fine, and an unwitting victim also. Scammers are by nature a bunch of liars, so why would they not use a real company as cover? It happens with surprising regularity.

PinkCoco wrote:
Mystery Shopping and Conducting Agent

That whole thing just screams "I want to send you a fake cheque for you to cash and send me the balance." [link]

PinkCoco wrote:
You will be evaluating Wal-Mart Stores and Western Union Services in your neighborhood

Yeah, that's the key to the scam right there.

PinkCoco wrote:
Now, when I said IC I took off the 3 because I know IC3 is legit but I wanted to scare them further (lol) WITHOUT posing as any kind of agent. I used IC by thinking of Information and Computers... LOL! ... ? No matter what it just hits me deep that these people have my address and phone number!

They don't get scared, and even if you wrote to them using a real fbi.gov email address they would try and scam that too. If you know someone is a scammer, then 'playing' with them may upset them to the point where they will use your personal information. Best option is to block, ignore and move on.

PinkCoco wrote:
I've blocked them but as everyone else has asked, do we refuse the package, tear it up or what

If you end up getting a courier delivery, FedEx, UPS or the like, simply turn it away. According to the USPIS [website]:- "Postal Inspectors advise that if you receive this offer, do NOTrespond. Instead, report the incident to Postal Inspectors online or call Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455." - Alternatively, destroy the fake payment totally and dispose to the rubbish bin. You must not keep the cheques, and attempting to cash them of course would land you in a big pile of doo-doo. :wink:

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