BBB Consumer Alert: Mystery Shopping Scam
For Immediate Release – September 26, 2008 – Who wouldn't want to get paid to go shopping? We've all seen the ads for "mystery shoppers" and "secret shoppers" that promise easy money, free meals and merchandise. One Memphis woman has learned the hard way that some offers that sound too good to be true often are just that.
Deborah Spight got a letter from Landmark Consumer Research Program saying that she was being offered a job as a customer service evaluator. “The letter said I had to go evaluate the companies’ service. It included a check for $3,671.27.”
Spight deposited the check and went to shop her assigned companies. Her initial assignment was to buy a Money Gram for $2,920 and forward it to a person whose name and address had been provided by Landmark Consumer Research Program, along with her evaluation sheet. The check she deposited untimately bounced and she is out the money she sent.
“It looked very professional and well planned out. And here I am stuck with a $3600 bill,” said Spight.
“Consumers should always check out any unsolicited offer with us,” said Randy Hutchinson, President, BBB of the Mid-South, “particularly if it involves a check with instructions to deposit it and send or wire part of all of the funds somewhere.”
Consumers can check out any unsolicited offer with the BBB at www.bbb.org, 901.759.1300, or 1.800.222.8754.