New York, New York
This scam was something I stumbled upon in the NY Metro paper in the jobs section. but I have a strong feeling that they also advertise in others ways such as through email. I should have known it was a scam because it sounded too good to be true...the add basically offered money for part time work to give your opinion about various shopping areas and restaurants. Later once I send them my resume they contacted me via email saying that I had qualified for the job as a "Mystery Shopper" and I would be contacted right away with details on my first assignment. They also asked me to confirm my name and address for their finance department to process my check payments. Note: They never asked me for any personal information i.e SS#, banking information. This is how they got me to believe and go along with it plus they also seemed to have a legit website when I checked them out. Note: They advertise themselves as Aspira Consulting once they contact you but you may not see it mentioned on the initial job posting. The person who communicated with me went by the name Ian Henderson and he was pretending to be from their Virginia office (1 of 3 offices) the other two claim to be in Pittsburgh and New York.
Basically, the next day they sent me an email with the details of my first assignment which was to scope out Western Union. They said that western union had been receiving complaints about poor customer service. My job was to simply report back with my opinion on how I was treated, timeliness, location and security but in order to not look obvious they asked me to actually send money. Note: They also explained to me that they were sending me the money to carry out the assignment via cashiers check or money order and that I was to deduct my payment of $250 from the amount sent and use the rest to send to the person they told me. They sent me a cashiers check for $1950 which was from Independent Bank in East Michigan, via UPS. I ended up having to deposit the cashiers check into my bank account and my bank cleared it 1 day later. I withdrew the funds from my account and I proceeded to carry out the assignment at my local western union. I sent them my report and they sent me back a congratulations email saying that they where sending me my next assignment. I thought everything was fine until two days later my account was overdrawn for over $1500 due to a fraudulent check! I notified Independent Bank immediately and they confirmed that this has been an on going problem for them and they have launched an investigation to try and catch the scammers.
PLEASE BE WARNED if you happen to see anything like this job posting for Mystery Shoppers. In this time of high job loss, there are tons of scams like this floating around taking advantage of people who are looking for work.