I seem to be on about mystery shopper scams a lot on this site, and if you’re reading these posts, you might eventually wonder: why does this subject keep coming up?
Below is an excerpt from a recent CUNA press release about a credit union member in Pennsylvania:
A Lancaster Red Rose CU member became a victim of a mystery shopper scam that reportedly took his name from information provided to an online job search database.
The individual received a letter from FreePayingSurvey.com of Wichita, Kan., which included a check for $2,960.50, and instructions to deposit the check into its account and get “trained in financial transaction by sending an international Western Union transfer (of $2,320) to our training agent: Rachel Thomas in Valencia, Spain.”
The letter also instructed the recipient to spend $50 at two of the listed retail locations, and offered a rate of $100 per hour for four hours of evaluations (mystery shopping).
It is unfortunate that the member—who is unemployed—fell for this scam, and as a result, now has a negative balance, Dave Kilby of Lancaster Red Rose CU, told the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association.
So, the reason I’m always on about secret shopper scams is that people keep falling for them. Do yourself a favor—don’t become the subject of a press release.
By the way—look at that URL one more time: FreePayingSurvey. Remember what I said about words that usually mean something is a scam? “Free” was one of them. Add “paying” and “survey” to your mental list.