I answered an ad on craigslist for "Mystery Shoppers" at firstname.lastname@example.org
and e-mailed my basic information (thank the devil NO SOCIAL SECURITY #
). I'm new to answering craigslist ads, so I thought that there would be a more formal application process. I received this response:
Welcome to mystery shopping.
Your ID number is 701-11-30.
You will be updated on payment and assignment proceedings.
Please confirm the receipt of this message to enable the processing of
Waiting for your swift response .
Something felt weird. It seemed too simple. But I replied anyway. The response that I received seemed really simple at first, but the syntax started to make me suspicious. It follows:
Your information was verified and your application has been accepted as you know.
You will be receiving a money order check of $3,400 to start your first
assignment. You should cash the check and find below your assignment.
Deduct $500 which is the commission for your assignment as you would
be paid on every information you submit. You should then proceed to
the nearest Wal-Mart store around you to perform your duty. As a
mystery shopper at the Wal-Mart location, you should keep your
Assignment Procedures confidential.
Remember, any item you purchase from the Wal-Mart store should be
kept by you for your personal use since we are only interested in the
accurate information from your survey. You are to make a purchase of
any electronic item worth of $100 (to be kept for yourself) plus your
$500 duty fee to make it a total of $600 .
Immediately after your Wal-Mart assignment, you are required to
proceed to the nearest Western Union Money Transfer Location to
perform your transfer assignment. The Money transfer charges should be
deducted from the remaining fund after you might have deducted $600
(Duty fee + Wal-mart order) .
You will send the rest funds to one of our shopper's address through
Western Union Money Transfer which we will email to you on the
acknowledgment of this message. Our mystery shopper at the location
will pick the funds up from the location where he or she is to complete his/her own
assignment. You are to deduct the Western Union transfer charges from
the remaining fund and send the rest to our Mystery Shopper like that.
As soon as you are done with the transfer assignment, you are to
e-mail us the following information below:
1: The Sender first name and last name.
2: The Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) of the transaction (10 digits)
3: The Total Amount sent (excluding transfer charges ).
4: Text Question? Reason For Trasnefer? Answer:::: MYSTERY SHOPPER
We will provide you with the Name and address of the shopper for the
transfer assignment as soon as the check is sent out.
Please note that your assignment should be kept secret, you do not
need to let the agent at the Wal-mart and Western Union location know
you are taking note of the activities.
REASONS FOR THE DUTY:
While making the purchase at the wal-mart location and transferring
the funds you are to take note of the following and send us the
reports respectively .
i) How long it took you to complete the purchase and transfer services.
ii) Name of the attendant/agent and his or her attitude towards customers.
iii) Poor working skills and customer relation
iv) Slow services
Hope the email is Informative enough for you to carry out the
assignment . Please acknowledge the receipt and understanding of this
message for your check to be sent .
Waiting for your swift response .
First of all, it wasn't even properly addressed to me. Second, who in their right mind sends a check for $3400 to an employee to start a job without even meeting them face to face? Third, why the devil did I need to send money Western Union to another "representative"? I was a bit perplexed. I talked to my girlfriend about it, and she just laughed. She said "It's a scam, no question." So I sent this reply to MICHAEL BUTT.
Due to the nature of this assignment, I will need to verify some information before I can proceed with this operation. I will need the following information for this company:
Main Telephone #
Business License #
I will also need a phone # to contact you at, Mr. Butts.
Thank you for your prompt reply.
Then I dug around on google, found scamvictimsunited, and read about a lot of other similar scams. After reading about a bunch of other people's experiences here at scamvictimsunited, I'm actually quite impressed with the grammar of this scammer. I haven't received the money order yet, and when I do I will be turning it over to the postmaster for investigation. I bet those poor chaps get more of this garbage than they can deal with.
I also found a website, antifraudintl.org, where I learned how to analyze the e-mail header and find out where it originated. Looks like Mountain View, California. Looks like a domestic case so far, but I ain't no expert. The ad has since been removed from craigslist, so I know I'm not the only one who replied.