Scam Watch–Don’t Get Fooled!!!

I thought I was getting a terrific deal when I received a letter telling me I had been selected to be a Mystery Shopper!
The letter explained that I would be trained & paid to secret shop stores like Wal-Mart, JC Penney’s, Home Depot and Best Buy. At the end of each visit I would fill out a report (sample was included with the letter), and then submit everything to this company in exchange for a pay-check. In addition to getting paid I would also keep the merchandise as a bonus. How awesome was that!?
Astonishingly enough, there was a whopping check of $3995.00 included with this letter and just as my hands were starting to get that “lucky twitch”, the cynical part of me kicked in and…. WAAAIT, ONE MINUTE!!!!
“Who the hell are these people and how did they find me? Are you kidding me? They’re just gonna mail me a four thousand dollar check out of the goodness of their hearts and hope that I will become their next star employee? I smell bullshit”
*note: let me say that I’ve met real-life Mystery Shoppers when I managed a fast food restaurant, so I know that this is a legit job.
I reread the letter and I examined the check for authenticity. The heading on the letter had a U.S. address but the postage on the envelope was from Canada! This was my first clue of foul play…
envelope                               *envelope shows a Canadian sender*

                                      *heading is different from envelope*
The check contained the microprint & security image embedded on the back like a real check, but what would happen if I had cashed it and it bounced? Most people don’t realize that their bank will charge them a penalty fee ($25 to $65) for every non-sufficient funds check regardless of whether it’s their fault!
*note: if you’ve made your payroll checks for direct deposit and your employer bounces your pay check, YOU will be charged with penalty fees by your bank!
My second clue of deceit, were the following instructions in the second part of the letter:
“…you will be trained in financial transaction by sending Western Union /MoneyGram to one of our training agents in a different location. Amount to be wired $3155.00….”
The remaining funds were for my supposed “probationary training & funds for shopping”.
fake check                                  *address on check is different too*
BUT, I don’t know anyone in Canada, I never bought anything from Canada nor have I ever signed up for anything in Canada. So who are these people?
The first place I considered checking with was the Better Business Bureau online. If anyone had made any kind of complaint against this company it would be reported here!
I checked out Bank One and it’s a legit bank in Illinois but they did not have any accounts listed for “White House Manufacturing,” which was the name of the issuer on the check. As far as I could tell this account did NOT exist!
Finally, I Googled the company name: “Cardinal Monitoring & Research” which was on the letterhead. I was quite shocked but pleased with myself to find them listed on a site called “Rip Off Report”!!! (click here to see details)
Apparently, they use a non-U.S. address so our postal system can’t charge them with mail fraud… only, they’re wrong in assuming that they can’t be charged because the whole deal is a scam! I was very fortunate to find more information on this and other “work-at-home” and “online paid surveys” companies and the best place to verify these so-called jobs is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Here are some really good places to check for scams such as pyramid & telemarketing schemes, credit card & sweepstake fraud, foreign banks fraud, investment schemes, insurance fraud, work-at-home scams, post office & mail fraud, online auctions and more. You can check for complaints submitted by others or file complaints both in your state & the state from which the fraudulent business is from.

*for Spanish version CLICK HERE


Laurie Harrison on February 25, 2011 at 6:46 AM said...

Hi. New here. Lots of scammers out there. I am not one. I am over 40 hopping and hoping to be over 400 on the CSN Bathroom Voting Contest.
Ask someone to Vote and Validate the email, please. It only takes a few seconds and doesn't cost anything to help. It's for a much needed bathroom repair/makeover.
Laura H from WY http://bit.ly/gZ676u

Monica on February 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM said...

Thanks for the heads up regarding the scam...it can be scary out "there". I’m a new follower from “Follow Friday 40 and Older”, your site looks amazing and I’ll definitely be checking back often!! I would love it if you followed me back!!

Are You A Mom on February 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM said...

I am your newest follower :)
Please stop by and say hello Areyouamom.com
Follow me to please :)
Thanks and Have a great day!

Rumtruffle on February 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM said...

Visiting from Follow Friday Four Fill-in Fun blog hop (what a mouth full!)
What is really sad is that these scammers often target old people who don't have a clue about these things, we have had a couple of programmes here highlighting these awful scams to make people aware. Well done for not being conned.
Hope you have a lovely week ahead. If you have a few spare minutes please stop by and say Hi.
Helen x

Mika on February 26, 2011 at 3:25 PM said...

Wow! Thanks for the info!
I'm following from the blog hop.
I'd love a follow back at www.mikaspantry.blogspot.com

Mrs. E on February 28, 2011 at 9:11 PM said...

Thanks for the tip! :)

Tree on March 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM said...

Wow! Glad you were smart enough to take a second look! People kill me these days with these ridiculous scams! UGH! Stopping by and following now! :)

Elizabeth on March 1, 2011 at 5:59 PM said...

Love your side bars...stopping by from Never Grow Old...over 40 Bloggers.

Stop by my blog for a book giveaway:



Chelsey Emmelhainz of HARPER COLLINS is graciously providing FIVE copies for five lucky winners.

ohkeeka on March 2, 2011 at 9:55 PM said...

I wonder how anyone falls for things like this. But people must, otherwise the scammers would be out of business!

sim only plans on March 3, 2011 at 1:18 AM said...

Thanks for the heads up regarding the scam...it can be scary out "there". I’m a new follower from “Follow Friday 40 and Older”, your site looks amazing and I’ll definitely be checking back often!! I would love it if you followed me back!!

Lisa on March 3, 2011 at 1:26 PM said...

the other side of this is that the inof ont he check could very well belong to a real person or company. our company's info was stolen for a similar scam except it asked the people to cash the check and send a large portion of it back for processing fees. thankfully our bank stopped it and we didn't lose money but people wanted to sue us because they didn't understand we were innocent victims just as much as they were accept that when the check was returned they were out the amount that they'd sent back plus fees.
stopping by from Type A Thursday

Michelle on March 8, 2011 at 6:40 PM said...

OMG- I had a scam-ish thing happen to me today! A call from "Jonathan from Firefox" asking me shady questions and phoning on my home phone. Then when I pressed him a bit he told me to relax and don’t get on him.... All I was saying is I am not the CEO, what are you asking about? I don’t understand. Clearly not a positive conversation!

I will be doing an on line search thanks for the advice!!

john4seo on March 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ebates Scam on March 22, 2012 at 6:58 AM said...

Don't be fooled by these so called "honest reviews" about Empower ... and watch the first training video on how to set up a merchant account.


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