About Secret Shopper
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I am a secret shopper for several different companies and have had great experiences. I recently decided that I’d like to spend more time being a shopper so I signed up with this company. I accepted my first job which was at one of my favorite stores that I go to all the time and it was a great fit. However, on the day I was supposed to do the shop, I had to work late unexpectedly and couldn’t make it by the time the store closed. Most companies have an option to reschedule right on the job listing, and if not they at least provide the name and email of the coordinator so you can contact them for help. There were none of these options available, and I finally found an email address on one of the emails they sent me that was generic and didn’t seem to go to any one particular person.
I sent my email that said what happened and said I could do the shop today. I had already spent a good amount of time familiarizing myself with the shop guidelines, as well as studied and took their required test to become a shopper, so I’m already invested in this $15 shop. This morning I get one email saying that ‘new shoppers don’t have rescheduling privileges’, sent from a nameless person from their tablet. Then I get another email saying I missed a shop and my account has been dropped. Seriously? Well it’s their loss because I have a 9 or 10 star rating with the 8 other companies I shop for and there are hundreds of other legit secret shopping companies I can work with that are more professional and value their shoppers.
Well, it looks like the scammers are out there again. They send you a cashiers check for 1900.52, and tell you to purchase gift cards for 500.00 each at Sephora, and that you would get to keep 400.00. I had a feeling that this was a scam, so I googled the company named Coral Enterprise at 10050 Pyrite Avenue San Francisco, CA 94103. They do not exist, and that area they listed are all major hotels. Then I tried to google De Ann ** as the remitter on the check. She does not exist.
Then I tried to google Daniel ** as the person that sent this bogus check and form, and he does not exist. I always check this information before participating. A reputable business would not be having you deposit an out of state check, then within 24 hours purchase gift cards and call that info in to a mystery number. Not enough time for the check to clear, and believe me, you will be out the 1900.52! Beware if you receive a text message to your phone first. I was willing to be a secret shopper for Whole Foods, but they are not aware that someone is using their name to scam innocent people out there. I will be burning this letter and bogus check as I am not falling for their scheme.
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Was sent a check in the mail to be a secret shopper for 1978.77. Only go to stores that sell eBay gift cards. I'm to purchase 1600.00 dollars worth 100.00 and 200.00 valued. I'm to keep 300.00 dollars for my service, purchase 37.77 for a charity donation to the American Cancer Society, keep 31.00 dollars for gas for my car, make sure, and confirm that the cards are properly activated. Then gently scratch off the silver hidden code, take pictures of the cards front and back, and text them to Billy price supervisor. There were 10 different guidelines for my store assignment. All this had to be completed within 72 hours, or I didn't receive an extra 200.00 dollars, bringing my total to 500.00. I'm very lucky I have a wife to clear my mind and see this scam for what it is.
I received two letters and check for 2,900. The letterhead of the letters are "Walmart" in blue letters. the second line has "THE # 1 EMPLOYERS OF RETAIL RESEARCHERS" in capital letters. On the third line "Welcome" in red. The letter is telling me text this person name Richard ** on (614)733-4407; with a email: **; confirming that I received the envelope. I am to deposit the check into my account, take out amount of 2,400, and to make money orders of 1,000, 1,000 and 400 each at Walmart blank money orders. Send them by FEDEX. The check is made from Ascend Federal Credit Union which I called this bank, and give them the information that was on it. The check has a check no. ** on the bottom. Said cashier's check with numbers on the bottom reading **. The bank told me that this is a scam; She took the check no. **. Do not fall for this scam.
I had received an email 3 days ago telling me that they were looking for some secret shoppers in my area to do shopping at any CVS, Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot, Publix, or Best Buy stores. That they would pay me $400 to evaluate the shopping experience and the attentiveness of the store clerk and how well they served me and any other areas that I felt needed improvement. I responded that I would be interested. In about a week I got another email telling me that I had passed their review and I would be receiving my first assignment in the mail either that day or within this week.
Today I received 2 priority mailings both from the same place. When I opened them they each contained an instruction letter and a check for $1850.12. The instruction letter said that I should go to anyone of the list of stores and buy Google Play Gift Cards. Pick any available denominations ($50, $100, $200, and $500) and get a total of $1500 worth of them. I must have this done within 12 to 24 hours. If I did then they would add another $150 to the $350 that was for me for having performed the survey. After the visit I should scratch off the silver scratch-off area on the cards.
Then I should report to them the store name, address, Date and Time of the visit. Name of the cashier if visible on their nametag. Did the store clerk thank me upon completion of my purchase? What was my overall experience with the staff in the store, how long it took me to get checked out. I should take pictures of both sides of the cards I purchased and email my report back to them at the email address they gave me.
I should keep the Google Play Gift Cards as they would be used in the next secret shopping assignment. Under no circumstances was I to let the store clerk or anyone at the store know that I was a secret shopper and if they asked me I was to say "NO". The letter did not have a letterhead or address and it was computer signed with an initial and last name. I got suspicious of the letter and when I took a good look at the check. The check was drawn on a Denver bank but the mail had come from San Francisco, CA. The bank routing symbol on the bottom did not have the proper number of digits and the account number had too many.
Being suspicious I called the bank in Denver and they confirmed that the checks were fraudulent. Then I looked online and googled Secret Shopper and found many people who had been hit with the same exact fraud. Remember that I received 2 of these envelopes each with a check in them so I had a total of $3700.24 worth of fraudulent checks.
I received a Cashier's Check in the mail for Secret Shopper. I was excited to get started. I called the bank that it was drawn from Security National Bank in Enid OK. Found out the check was fraudulent and this is the 4th one in a week. They are investigating and have turned it over to the police. The bank ask me to send copies of the check and the letter I received, also a picture of the envelope it was in. The check was for $3250.00. I was to keep $350.00 as pay.
I was to evaluate Walgreens and Dollar General or 7-11. I needed to pick 2. I was to evaluate 2 of the 3 and also the bank where I was to cash the check. If I completed the task with 24 hours I would receive a $100.00 bonus with my next assignment. I was to use $140.00 to shop and text or e-mail as soon as I left so that there would be a timeline for my bonus. I was so hoping for this to be legit as I wanted to earn some extra money. No such luck. Beware and call the bank that the money came from before cashing the check or money order. Don't let these people get your hard earned money.
BestMark tries to be the mystery shopping company. I received the check from Jason ** the check of $2,340 was signed by Michael **. I called up the Louisiana corporate credit union check number **. I asked if there was enough money in the account to cover this before the lady took any information from me. She said does the check start with an 8. I said yes. She said it is fraudulent... Folks do not put this check in our account. It is not from the mystery shopper company... Don't forget you pick your assignment. They don't come to you. The lady told me that if you put this check in your account by the time it gets to the bank they would already have their gift cards and you would be responsible for the bounced check. Also the mystery shopping does not let you do gift cards from Winn-Dixie Food Lion, Office Depot. These checks are fraudulent. Calvin ** his email is **. BEWARE OF THIS PRACTICE!!!
I received a text message via LinkedIn from a familiar contact that read, "I just got signed up with this company and thought you might like to try it out." Because the message was from a reputable site and contact, I thought nothing of it and signed up. Two weeks later I received a USPS Envelope sent priority 3-day mail from Patricia **. Inside were 2 items: a check for $2900.42 (Midwest America Federal Credit Union) and a letter of instructions.
Right away I noticed a few red flags with the check: there was no address or telephone number for a branch. The was not company payer listed. The only thing legitimate was the routing number matched the bank name. The letter had many red flags as well: There were multiple grammatical/syntax errors. No company letterhead, contact address, or telephone number. It was not signed with any credentials other than "Mark **".
The letter instructed me to deposit the check into my bank account using any viable method, photo deposit, ATM, teller (strange?), then to immediately purchase eBay gift cards totaling $2500. After purchasing the gift cards "peel off the silver scratch-off areas and take pictures of both the front and back of the cards". The cards were planned for use on the next assignment - sending the photos of the cards. I received a text message the day after the letter arrived. I told them I did my research and turned them in to authorities for being a SCAM!
I have a disability but I keep getting low scores for my hidden disability. By law we're suppose to immediately pass these with 100% regardless of what we do. Due to lack of mental understanding. Why do I keep getting specific scores that state I did this wrong, did that wrong. Customer did not like what I said because they were a total ** to me during the whole transaction. Didn't like company protocol. Why do I keep getting scored for these dumb things? It's illegal. I'm tired of getting management visits even though they know I'm disabled. I've filed in writing for a reasonable ADA recommendation that they do not judge me on these for my mental lack of understanding. Time and time again I still get judged wrongfully for my disability not allowing me to function at a high level. All I understand is scan item, customer service, don't be an ** and be careful with your words.
Initially, I received a text from LinkedIn to see if I wanted to be a part of a focus group, and since I received the text from a professional social website, I accepted. In approximately a week I receive a Priority Mail package from a person who has a profile from Washington PA who is apparently part of the TWBS Group based in Vacaville, CA. Within that package, there are two documents - a check for $2900.42 and a detailed set of instructions for a Secret Surveyor evaluation. I thought it was a little odd that a focus group was modified to a Secret Shopper, but at this point I still didn't doubt the legitimacy.
"The present package contains your first secret survey assignment, along with this letter is the funding for the assignment and survey. So, have fun, make money, and help us improve customer service on a Global level. Take note included in this package is the checklist with further required steps and the payment sent out for your highly appreciated service. The check included in this letter represents $2800 that covers the assignment bills, evaluation costs and your survey commission payment of $300".
The check amount was for $2900.42, which was inconsistent. The instructional document proceeded to ask that I confirm the receipt of the package to email@example.com. I also received a text message from 331-240-9086 stating the following "Congratulations (my first and last name). How you doing today? Remember you apply for Survey assignment 300$ on LinkedIn last week. You have been pick for the job. We like to inform you that your first assignment has been deliver to you. Hope you will read and update." The area code is from the Chicago area. In addition, I noticed afterwards, the following information on the check "This document has a colored background and microprinting. The reverse side includes an artificial watermark".
The bank was First Northern Bank of Vacaville CA. It started to feel strange. My assignment was to evaluate the nearest store selling Wal-Mart Gift Cards. I was to pick five Wal-Mart Gift Cards, go to the register, and add $500 to each card. I also needed to peel the silver scratch off area and not discard the cards and to send captured images of the card front and back after scratched. It is a scam. I almost cashed the check, when I realized that this was not a focus group, or a legitimate secret shopper assignment, but a scam.
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