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10 Internet Scams to Watch Out For

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Internet Scams to Watch Out For: Mystery Shopper

Internet scams include Mystery Shopper
Source: Federal Trade Commission

Who doesn’t love shopping? Let me rephrase that: Who doesn’t love shopping when they’re being paid to do the shopping?

A lot of people fall victim to this one, thanks to e-mails or online ads offering then $300 or more per day shopping in stores and providing feedback on their experience.

However, there are upfront training costs to be paid by the victim (after which they never hear back from the Mystery Shopper program), or they might be sent an initial paycheck with instructions to wire part of that money back.

Why would the Mystery Shopper program want a portion returned? Naturally, the check is bogus, and the victim loses the money they sent along with any banking fees associated with the bounced check.

It’s not unusual for victims to be taken for thousands of dollars before they realize they’ve been duped.

What to do: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Some stores do hire mystery shoppers, but they are through partner agencies or internal departments. These people are not blindly solicited on the Internet. If someone sends you a check asking you to deposit it, then wire or transfer some of it back to them, it’s time to call the police.

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As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities

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