Around the end of January this year I was scammed out of $10,700 in just 3 days and I would like to share my story of how this happened so it won't happen to anyone else.
I was looking for a job through a local job search sire when I came across this addSIGNATURE WORLDWIDE, INC .
SIGNATURE WORLDWIDE INC is accepting applications for qualified individuals to become mystery shoppers.
Here's your chance to get paid for shopping and dinning out. Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service
in a wide Variety of shops, Stores, restaurants and services in your area.
Survey Assistant are needed throughout UNITED STATES.
You'll be paid to shop and dine out-plus, you can also get free meals, free merchandise, free services,
free Entertainment, Free travel and more. Great Pay. Fun Work. Flexible Schedules. No experience required.
SIGNATURE WORLDWIDE INC
, is the premier mystery shopping company, serving clients across America and Canada
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:
Alternate Email Address
Hours Available: from to
We await your urgent response. Thank you for participating.
We look forward to working with you.
you can visit our site on
Sincerely, David Brian
My first thought was this is too good to be true and so I checked out the website to verify whether or not is was real. When I checked it out, everything seemed ok so I went ahead and applied for the job. I immediately got a response and this is what the email saidHello Shopper,
Thank you for your interest in becoming a mystery shopper. I am contacting you on behalf of Signature Worldwide, Inc. We have received your application and I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected as our newest mystery shopper! Please continue reading to get the details of your first assignment. You are NOT required to pay any upfront fees. You will be paid $200 for each survey you conduct. The complaints of the participating stores are based on reports from their customers that have been forwarded anonymously to their head offices.
Western Union is being evaluated for the following reasons:
1) Customers have filed reports regarding missing funds
2) There have been problems with slow service by Western Union employees
3) Customers have reported unbalanced transfer charges
The fast food company is being evaluated for the following reasons:
1) Reports of poor service
2) Reports of unfriendly exchanges between customers and staff
3) Reports of unexplained charges
4) Reports of not opening and closing on time
The instructions for your secret evaluation are as follows:
1) Our company will send you a check to pay for your meal at a particular fast food restaurant. You will then follow the specific instructions given with the monies to evaluate the location. Next you will receive money to use in your evaluation of a Western Union location. You will be asked to make a transfer of funds from a Western Union location near you to a mystery shopper at a location that has a reputation for lost funds.
2) You will need to record the time at which you arrive at the location and how long it takes before you receive service from an employee.
3) You will be sent a check to cover your payment of $200 for the survey and also $100 for the fast food. As soon as you receive the check, you need to cash it at your bank. Next, deduct your $200 from the cash. After you have deducted your $200, you need wire the rest of the money through Western Union to another mystery shopper who will be waiting.
4) When you receive the check you will also receive the information on where to send it. You will be expected to keep a comprehensive report on each stage of your assignment.
Please reply to this email ASAP so I can send you a check and you can begin making your money.
So once I received my first check in the mail I got an email explaining what my assignment was and this is what the letter said:Hello Shopper
The check for your first assignment is on its way to your house right now. It will arriving via FedEx and you can track it by going to fedex.com. The tracking number is 8986 8765 0684. The check is for $2,780. As soon as you receive the check you need to get it cashed at your bank. Then you need to deduct $250…$200 as payment for your survey and $50 for travel reimbursement. Next, you need to go the nearest Western Union location and have the remainder of the funds sent to the Mystery Shopper below.
Name: DEBRA AUBREY
Address: 10 grochmal ave. #12
City: Indian orch
Zip Code: 01151
After your survey,provide us with a detailed analysis of all this :
1) How long it took you to get the service from the Western Union employee
2) The intelligence level of the attendant
3) The level of professionalism and customer service portrayed by the attendant
4) We also need you to ruffle the attendant a little bit. We need to see how they react to customers when they are under pressure. That information is then turned into the company executives who help make decisions to improve these services.
5)We also need to know the address of the Western Union location you visited
After all that,you also need to provide us with the informations on the western union slip because that is what the mystery shoppers will need to pick up the funds so he/she can make his or her own survey also.
The informations i need from the western union receipt are
(i)The actual amount sent after western union deductions
(ii)The 10 digit reference numbers on the receipt
(iii)Senders full names and address..that is your own full name and address
We need you to complete this assignment as soon as possible so you can proceed to your next assignment and evaluate a restaurant.
We look forward to hearing back from you soon
So I went to the nearest Western Union after cashing my check at the bank and completed the assignment and sent him the information. The next day I received two checks asking me to so the exact same thing only this time send it to two locations. This time the scammer called me and was constantly hounding me to get the assignment done as quickly as possible and move on to the next Western Union to start on the other. I got home really frustrated but shrugged it off and was hoping I would get to evaluate the restaurant that he said I was going to do next. That night, I texted him telling him that I would have to wait until Monday to do the next assignment and he said it would be fine. So Saturday came and I got 3 checks in the mail each with the same amount as the first three asking me once again to do the same thing as the first two things. I wasn't able to do it because I had to work so I had my wife take it over. The second I left for work he texted me asking me to get the assignment done asap. I told him that I wasn't going to do it until Monday but he insisted that my wife cash the checks for me and complete the assignment. So during my break, I went to cash the checks because he kept texting me during work asking me to get my wife to start. After the checks were cashed, I handed the money to my wife and went back to work. The second I got to work my wife told me that she feels this might be a scam because he was harassing her to get the assignment done. She said she did one but she couldn't do the others because she was busy. She ended out keeping the money and he started to text me to tell my wife to get it done. I told him that we were done once this assignment was over and he kept insisting we could work things out. Finally we got to the point where we went to our nearest Police station and reported the scam. The officer told us that it was a scam and to ignore the phone calls and text messages that he sent us until they got things figured out. We decided that we would go to the bank to check whether of not the checks were real or fake. Before we went, the scammer harassed us all weekend and was begging and pleading for us to get the assignment done so we did the best thing we could to ignore him, block his number. He did try one other way to call us but we blocked that number too. When Monday came we went to the bank and sure enough we found out that there was no account in the bank that they were sending the checks from. Devi stated, we asked the assistant manager of the bank what we should do. He went on to tell us that we could get a "special loan" to pay back everything we owe. We got pretty upset and left because there was no way that we could pay this back and the officer told us that they were really good at working with people who this has happened to. About a week later we went to the banks headquarters and asked them if there was any way they could help us out by cutting the amount we owe in half or make lower payments because we felt like the fault was as much there's as ours. She then said that when things like this happen we lose, you lose, and the scammer wins. This didn't feel like the bank was losing to us because they were getting everything back that they lost while we are stuck with a huge debt on top of other debts we currently had. She also said we that we are responsible on telling the teller whether of not we believed the checks were real and ask if they could make sure the check wasn't fake. We feel like this was their responsibility because of how much we cashed in three days and that checks over $2500 were verified first before the funds were given to us. Apparently i didn't work that way so we got frustrated and walked out. So as of today we refuse to get a "special loan" through them because we simply can't afford it. They blame us for this happening and are doing nothing to help so we feel like a collection agency will be more lenient than them. It's sad to think that but maybe they will be more willing to work with us.
So this is my story about how I was scammed and how much it hurt me financially. Looking back at the emails and job postings I noticed so many red flags and now I feel dumb that I fell for something like this. But hey, even careful people slip up.
So if you see a job posting form Signature Worldwide from a man named David Brian DON"T APPLY IT IS A SCAM!!! Signature Worldwide is a real company but the job posting isn't especially if the email address to send your application to is this firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this story helps others to avoid the same pitfall as me