This week another fraud scheme was reported to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office. A woman reported that she was solicited via email and offered employment as a “mystery shopper” for Walmart and Money Gram locations. After accepting the employment the female victim received a USPS envelope containing a cashier’s check and a two page instruction letter containing directions on how to deposit the funds, withdraw the funds and forward the funds to the next “mystery shopper.”
The woman who received this check then took it to her bank for verification, and the check was deemed counterfeit.
This mystery shopper scam is one of the more serious scams. The scammer claims to be part of a legitimate company such as Secret Shopper® and sends out large counterfeit cashier’s checks or money orders to their victims.
The shopper is told to cash the check and instructed to wire the majority of the funds via MoneyGram or Western Union, then keep the rest as their ‘pay’. Don’t be fooled by these scams! The FDIC requires banks to make funds available on cashier’s checks and money orders within 1-5 days, so the scammers are counting on you receiving the funds and going through with the wire transfer before the check or money order has actually cleared the bank. By the time you find out that the check is not legitimate, you are out the money you sent and will be held accountable for the bounced check by your financial institution.
Suggested steps to take if you have been scammed:
Contact Nassau County Sheriff’s Office at 904- 225-5174 to file a report.
File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at the ic3 website.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC Complaint website.