A typical mystery shopper scam will begin like this;
Subject: MYSTERY SHOPPER ASSIGNMENT IN YOUR AREA.
We have a mystery shopping assignment in your area with a wage rate of $200 per assignment. The job Entails an Evaluating process of outlets such as Walmart e.t.c and restaurants.
Send the below information to get started.
Address(Not P.O BOX): (Include Apt # If Available)
Residential Phone Number:
So far it looks fairly innocent but even with this initial email there are some clues that its a scam;
The gmail email address, a real mystery shopper company would have their own domain (be careful though as fake mystery shopping companies might have their own domain too)
The email is very generic and didn't include any of my real details
It is suggested that the assignments would be local yet we dont have Walmart in Australia
Mystery shopper scams could take a variety of twists and turns but a common theme is for people to be asked to cash a money order or cheque, in this case most likely at a Walmart.
After this assignment it's quite probable that you will be asked to evaluate a money transfer service such as Western union.
Of course, the money orders or cheques will be fake and although they may pass the initial stages they will eventually be found to be fake and will land the person who cashed then in a lot of trouble with the law.
Then of course any money you sent by Western Union will be lost and gone forever.
If you need or want any additional information on this kind of scam you can ask us or if you think you may have been caught up in a mystery shopper scam you are more than welcome to post the details or ask us for a second opinion.
The most important rules to remain safe online is to make sure you know who you are dealing with online and dont send money to people you dont know, even if they sent money to you first.