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  1. #1
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    SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    I got a call about a week ago asking if I was still Unemployed, and if I would like to become the Secret Shopper in my Region.

    I said okay, and thought to look into it. Today I got a cashiers check for 3,865 from SecretShopper 1555 Regent Ave, West, Winnipeg MBRC 214, telephone 1+204-962-1863

    My assignment was to go to Wal-Mart and go to the Money-Gram and wire the money...except for 350.00 for my training and time. They are paying 175.00 and hour...well I'm no dummy, so I have been looking into this...is it a scam? What should my next step be? I did call the number and the person (Alicon) told me to call her , then fax my evaluation back to her once I have shopped the store, and sent the money....Confused here...anyone help?

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    You stand a good chance of getting locked up if you do it.
    Call the FBI and the Canadian equivalent of the FBI.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    45

    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Regarding actual mystery shop companies, Volition.com is where I went to to find real mystery shop assignments. Typically there is a reimbursement for the purchases you make and if you are very lucky a little extra cash ($8 additional is the most I've gotten) on top of that.

    Sensusshop.com also does mystery shops for dinner. I think they are out of Canada but they do some American shops. Reimbursement for dinner is all you get, I think.

    Kernscheduling.com is another real one. They do bowling shops, where you get reimbursed for some frames and a certain amount for food. They also do cigarette shops at WalMart and other random stuff.

    There is no "real" money in mystery shopping, I think! If you are able to do it full time you are extremely lucky.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2006
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommygill
    I got a call about a week ago asking if I was still Unemployed, and if I would like to become the Secret Shopper in my Region.

    I said okay, and thought to look into it. Today I got a cashiers check for 3,865 from SecretShopper 1555 Regent Ave, West, Winnipeg MBRC 214, telephone 1+204-962-1863

    My assignment was to go to Wal-Mart and go to the Money-Gram and wire the money...except for 350.00 for my training and time. They are paying 175.00 and hour...well I'm no dummy, so I have been looking into this...is it a scam? What should my next step be? I did call the number and the person (Alicon) told me to call her , then fax my evaluation back to her once I have shopped the store, and sent the money....Confused here...anyone help?

    Tom
    REPLY Chila
    The exact same thing happened to me with the exception of $400.00 for observation and money-gram procedure time @ $200.00 and hour 2 hour max.
    Another exception is that I did follow the assignment.

    Automatically they sent me another fed-ex with a check, timesheet and evaluation sheet without my request to do so as said in their cover letter.
    But this time I had the check cashing place look into this check and they held the check saying that the check was "No good." and kept it. I called the company and they took my cell phone number and would investigate and get back to me and I have I heard from them yet?........NO!!!!!!!!!! help!!!
    Last edited by chila; 03-08-2006 at 11:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    REPLY Chila
    The exact same thing happened to me with the exception of $400.00 for observation and money-gram procedure time @ $200.00 and hour 2 hour max.
    Another exception is that I did follow the assignment.

    Automatically they sent me another fed-ex with a check, timesheet and evaluation sheet without my request to do so as said in their cover letter.
    But this time I had the check cashing place look into this check and they held the check saying that the check was "No good." and kept it. I called the company and they took my cell phone number and would investigate and get back to me and I have I heard from them yet?........NO!!!!!!!!!! help!!!

  6. #6
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    sojustask is offline The Late, Great Lady Mod - Retired User Rank
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommygill
    I got a call about a week ago asking if I was still Unemployed, and if I would like to become the Secret Shopper in my Region.

    I said okay, and thought to look into it. Today I got a cashiers check for 3,865 from SecretShopper 1555 Regent Ave, West, Winnipeg MBRC 214, telephone 1+204-962-1863

    My assignment was to go to Wal-Mart and go to the Money-Gram and wire the money...except for 350.00 for my training and time. They are paying 175.00 and hour...well I'm no dummy, so I have been looking into this...is it a scam? What should my next step be? I did call the number and the person (Alicon) told me to call her , then fax my evaluation back to her once I have shopped the store, and sent the money....Confused here...anyone help?

    Tom
    That is a scam. Call the FBI.

    Lady Mod

  7. #7
    sojustask's Avatar
    sojustask is offline The Late, Great Lady Mod - Retired User Rank
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Quote Originally Posted by chila
    REPLY Chila
    The exact same thing happened to me with the exception of $400.00 for observation and money-gram procedure time @ $200.00 and hour 2 hour max.
    Another exception is that I did follow the assignment.

    Automatically they sent me another fed-ex with a check, timesheet and evaluation sheet without my request to do so as said in their cover letter.
    But this time I had the check cashing place look into this check and they held the check saying that the check was "No good." and kept it. I called the company and they took my cell phone number and would investigate and get back to me and I have I heard from them yet?........NO!!!!!!!!!! help!!!
    Have you checked your cell phone charges since then?

    Lady Mod

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    3

    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    There are no Mystery Shopping companies that pay the rate that you were offered. That is a red flag immediately. In addition to Volition, which a wonderful and totally legitimate site,there is an organizatin called Mystery
    Shopper Providers Association.The most legitimate Mystery Shopping
    Companies belong to that organization.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    "A Secret Shopper is someone who is hired by a company to pose as a customer to check or purchase pre-selected merchandise or evaluate the service received. Secret shopping as a form of market research is quickly becoming a huge industry. This is great news for those people who want to set their own hours and get paid to shop! Unfortunately, (yes there is a catch!) many of these sites that claim to have hundreds of secret shopping jobs out there for people, just aren't legitimate. Due to this high demand there have been a number of secret shopping sites created that promise daily shopping jobs only to find out that they have outdated databases and no jobs to offer. In addition, trying to find someone in customer service to help you is practically impossible."

    http://wwwsitereviews.com/mystery_sh...FRX6PgodsAEb6g

    If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't.

    You should let these guys know.
    http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/mb/webpages/contact_e.htm

  10. #10
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Hello I just wanted to add to this post regarding Secret Shoppers. A feww weeks ago I got a call asking if I wanted to become a Secret Shopper, I asked them to send me something in writing and the gal I spoke with said she would. I never received anything. Yesterday 3/13/06 I received a letter saying Congratulations! I was selected to become one of their representatives in my area. ( I'm no dummy!!) In the letter the request is to shop at GAP or Wal-Mart and send a Western Union or Money Gram, along with forms for my evaluation and a check in the amount $3,920.00. The accounting is 2 hour Evaluation training pay ($200.00), Required fund to te sent (Western Union or Money Gram $3,300.00), Service charges/Miscellaneous (120.00), and Funds needed for shopping ($300.00). What triggered the light bulb to go off, they wanted me to wire transfer this $3,300.00 to a person with my last name (the first was different of course) saying that I ws sending it to a relative in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. That means someone is using my name?????

    What company, not knowing me, would entrust me with $3,920.00 to do these tasks???? Now I want to what is needed to be done to these people, who should I contact.

    Please someone post a response.
    Thanks
    NancyC

  11. #11
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    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Hi, after reading the testimonials listed below, I believe the company out of Canada (Secret Shoppers) is trying to rip me off as well. I recv'd a phone call from a lady name Nicole Miller last week who said she seen my resume and thought I would be a good fit for being a secret shopper. I ignored the lady, and didn't think she would really send the information. Then, on Friday, 03/17/2006 I received a phone call with a msg in regard to receiving a package via FedEx, I didn't receive it, so I never returned Nicole's ph. call. Yesterday, 03/20/2006, at 6:30 am, I recv'd the FedEx package from Canada, and the FedEx lady said that it had to cost a fortune, b/c it came from Canada. I informed Nicole of receiving the package. Before I went through with anything I researched the goal. The check was for $3865.
    Of that 3865, I would get $350. Then, it was a service fee from Moneygram of $115. Leaving $3400 to send to my fake cousin in Canada. Then, I called Wal-mart asking what I needed to send the package & the costs. The serv. rep. informed me due to the amount I would need my I.D. and it would be a serv. fee of $68 (so Nicole calculated the fees wrong). When I told Nicole the fees were less $47, she told me to keep it, bringing my total to $397 for ten mins. of my time.

    After work, I went to cash the check, unfortunately due to the amount, I could not cash it, but it would have to be on 6 day hold. I called Nicole, she informed the check was affliated with Bank of America and I should be able to cash it there. I went Bank of America, they said they were not affliated with the bank on the check. I called Nicole again, and she told me to put the check on a 6 day hold, of which she thought it would be released in 48hrs. Then, next week I am suppose to call her when the funds are released.

    This whole situation seems to good to be true. I asked my bank, thanks to my best friend, if I would be penalized if the check doesn't clear, they told me, "no". I will see next week what happens. In the mean time if you get a call from Nicole Miller at: 204-951-4341, be careful. I made a copy of the check prior to deposit. I have all the info at home and will fill it in later (address, ph, fax, etc.)

  12. #12

    I work as a shopper- can be done full time but hard work!

    Hi,
    I really like this board- lots of very useful info very glad I found it!

    Anyways,
    just wanted to add that I work as a "mystery shopper" and it is possible to do it full time or almost full time- but you need alot of qualifications for that.

    By qualifications I mean like writing skills, being bilingual (French + English), being good at writing detailed reports.
    I'm usually making $15-35 per shop at the moment.
    But that can involve tons of writing.

    In my couple years as a shopper I have never been asked to do anything with huge amounts of money.
    I think most legit companies would never do that.

    The most "financial" thing I had to do was go to a local branch open an account and meet with a mortgage specialist and then write a report about it.
    The company I did this for did not ask for any personal/banking info.
    (I had to write a 3 page report and got $35 for my time, plus $10 for an additional visit 1 month later + all fees paid for for 3 months banking).= so really $45 plus expenses.

    If you want to get info mystery shopping don't pay for any of those guides- all the people/schedulers/ mystery shopping company people I talk to will tell you to use :

    www.mysteryshop.org

    or as other ppl here have mentioned Volition is also great!

    I would also be very wary or someone just randomly calling you up and asking you to be a "mystery shopper".
    The only time anyone has ever called me is when they need an urgent shop done like within 12 hours and really need someone in my city (I'm known to a few companies for taking alot of last minute shops).
    So, the only other times people will call you about mystery shopping is when someone wants to clarify something in my report and they want an explanation of the whole situation that happened in the store (doesn't happen too often).

    If you are also wondering how many shops I did in the last month (Feb, 2006) my total was 60 (I am in school for 2 months so have cut back).

    Hopefully this info will help people :)
    -it also helps if you live in a big/bigger city

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2

    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    In reference to my reply I posted earlier. My bank did not clear the check, because it was COUNTERFEIT. The person that sent the check was Lori Russo, 324 St. Gersim Ave., Toronto, ON (Canada), MSMIW3 (zip code). Ph. 416-322-7518. Now, I have to go to my bank and have them reverse the fees. I'm so upset. Nicole Miller (ph. (204) 951-4341, called today and left a message in regard to if the check cleared or not. Though I was charged $25 from my bank, I thank God I did not send that money to wherever because I would be out of $3865. I am calling the FBI of the situation as well, because someone has to take care of this. Be cautious when encountering these secret shopper situations.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1

    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Hi Nancy. To answer your question as to who to contact regarding this matter, you need to contact the RCMB at 204-983-2000. The operator will connect you to one on the Constibals who has been working on this scam. The officer that you speak with will also ask you to report your incident to a couple of other agencies. As you might have guessed, I've had to do all of this, but I am also out of the $4000. Hope this helps you. Also I would like to ask anyone that got sucked into this, if any one has indicated the probability of monies being recouped???

    Quote Originally Posted by NancyC
    Hello I just wanted to add to this post regarding Secret Shoppers. A feww weeks ago I got a call asking if I wanted to become a Secret Shopper, I asked them to send me something in writing and the gal I spoke with said she would. I never received anything. Yesterday 3/13/06 I received a letter saying Congratulations! I was selected to become one of their representatives in my area. ( I'm no dummy!!) In the letter the request is to shop at GAP or Wal-Mart and send a Western Union or Money Gram, along with forms for my evaluation and a check in the amount $3,920.00. The accounting is 2 hour Evaluation training pay ($200.00), Required fund to te sent (Western Union or Money Gram $3,300.00), Service charges/Miscellaneous (120.00), and Funds needed for shopping ($300.00). What triggered the light bulb to go off, they wanted me to wire transfer this $3,300.00 to a person with my last name (the first was different of course) saying that I ws sending it to a relative in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. That means someone is using my name?????

    What company, not knowing me, would entrust me with $3,920.00 to do these tasks???? Now I want to what is needed to be done to these people, who should I contact.

    Please someone post a response.
    Thanks
    NancyC

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2,272

    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard Warns Consumers of "Secret" Shopper Scam


    (Phoenix, Ariz. - July 12, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned Arizona consumers about a new scam involving phony advertisements for employment as a "secret," "mystery" or "investigative" shopper.

    Recently, several Tucson residents have answered employment ads calling for "shoppers" to test a company service, claiming that if they perform this job, they will be paid thousands of dollars.

    "This is a new twist on old scams," Goddard said. "This combines a phony job offer with the fake cashier's check scam. The ads and the employment packages look real, but they're not. The cashier's checks look so real that even bank employees have been fooled."

    In some instances, the scam works this way: When consumers contact the company about the position, they are told they can earn money by purchasing items at different stores or dining at different restaurants. This is the hook that gets consumers to take the next step to become a "secret" shopper. The company then sends an employment packet. The packet includes business evaluation forms, a training assignment and a fake cashier's check, often ranging between $2,000 and $4,000.

    The training assignment is to pose as a customer and wire money to a "relative." The consumer is told to cash the check and wire the money to an address in Canada. The check is phony and bounces after the consumer deposits the check into his or her personal account and wires the money, leaving the consumer liable for the fake check. Consumers are told they have 48 hours to complete the "assignment" or they will lose their job.

    "Consumers need to know that a legitimate company will never send you a cashier's check out of the blue or require you to send money to someone you have never met," Goddard said. "The scam artists use realistic looking documents, the 'secret' nature of the job, and the 48-hour deadline to pressure consumers into cashing the check and wiring the money quickly before the bank or the consumer can determine it was a fake check. By then, it's too late."

    Goddard said that while some "secret" shopper companies are legitimate, consumers should be skeptical of any secret, mystery or investigative shopping companies that:
    Advertise jobs for shoppers on the radio, in a newspaper's classified or "help wanted" section or through unsolicited email. Legitimate secret shopper companies generally do not advertise for jobs in this manner.
    "Guarantee" a job as a mystery, secret or investigative shopper.
    Charge a fee just for applying or charge a fee for access to secret shopping job opportunities. You should not pay any fee to apply or to obtain job information.
    Appear to be located in places outside the country, such as Canada. If the company does not have an established office nearby that you can visit in person, be very cautious.

    Goddard offered the following additional tips to protect consumers from these scams:
    Do not depend on the funds from a cashier's check from a source you do not know.
    There is usually no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask for money to be wired back or wired to a third party. Don't do it.
    Do not rely on the fact that the check was accepted for deposit by their financial institution as evidence of the check's authenticity. It can take up to a week or more for a financial institution to determine whether a check is good, especially if the check is from an institution located outside the United States.
    Consumers are responsible for the deposited fake check, even if it was a cashier's check. When the check bounces, the bank deducts from the consumer's account the amount that was credited with the fake check.
    It is always a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau and investigate any business offering this sort of employment.
    If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763, in Tucson at 520.628.6504, or outside the metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General's Office has 23 satellite offices throughout the state with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General's Web site. Consumers can also file complaints online at www.azag.gov.

    Terry Goddard

    Consumer Advisories and Scam Alerts"

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4

    Re: SecretShoppers Scam?? From Canada?

    RUN DON'T WALK TO THE POLICE
    I JUST GOT SCAMMED WITH THE SAME SCENARIO..MY BANK GAVE ME $ WITHOUT HOLDING IT LONG ENOUGH..NOW I AM OUT THE 2900 THAT WAS SENT AND THOMAS MCALLISTER, JOE LARA AND HERRING ARE LAUGHTING HARD AT ME...
    PATSYSUE

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommygill View Post
    I got a call about a week ago asking if I was still Unemployed, and if I would like to become the Secret Shopper in my Region.

    I said okay, and thought to look into it. Today I got a cashiers check for 3,865 from SecretShopper 1555 Regent Ave, West, Winnipeg MBRC 214, telephone 1+204-962-1863

    My assignment was to go to Wal-Mart and go to the Money-Gram and wire the money...except for 350.00 for my training and time. They are paying 175.00 and hour...well I'm no dummy, so I have been looking into this...is it a scam? What should my next step be? I did call the number and the person (Alicon) told me to call her , then fax my evaluation back to her once I have shopped the store, and sent the money....Confused here...anyone help?

    Tom

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