Safe From Scams: Mystery Shoppers

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If you're looking for ways to make some extra cash, mystery shopper jobs can be tempting. Beware of anything that says it's easy money. (KFSN)

If you're looking for ways to make some extra cash, mystery shopper jobs can be tempting.

Beware of anything that says it's easy money. There is no such thing.

Musette Henley is speaking from experience after accepting an online job for a research study on customer service.

She accepted the job and received a check in the mail with instructions.

"They were so insistent and they kept reminded you reminding you rather, don't use your money, only use their check," she said.

The check was for $1,500.

She was told to buy certain items, remove her fee and then send the rest back. She was told to do this as quickly as possible.

"I went to put the check in the bank and then it hit me," Henley said. "This is a business, it was like a personal check, the letterhead was not there."

Right after the deposit, she called her bank. They found the check and confirmed it was a counterfeit.

Expediency is a key part of this scheme.

"The urgency of receiving more prompts the consumer to react right away and that's what the suspects want, they want you to react right away and wire them the money so that they can get what they are looking for," US Postal Inspector Lee Jones said.

Musette admits she will be more careful in the future.

"Now I know that I have to be cautious and change my perspective about people and things when something like this happens you're not trusting anymore," she said.

Fortunately, Henley lost NO money in this scam but she is the exception.

If you are ever in doubt, take a check to the bank for an inspection, they can usually determine very quickly if the source of the check is legitimate.
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