The OFT is warning consumers not to respond to
a new employment opportunity scam currently targeting the
The mailing from a business called ‘Paid
Surveys’, states that it is a customer employment firm using
‘mystery shopping’ to assist companies in improving customer
service. Recipients are told that they have been chosen as a secret
shopper and will be paid £350 for their first assignment. This is
said to involve posing as a potential customer at a number of
retailers and evaluating their service. Recipients are asked to
contact an agent for detailed instructions.
A cheque made out to the recipient and
allegedly backed by a reputable bank, is attached to the mailing to
cover pay and other expenses. The victim is instructed to cash the
cheque and then to immediately complete one of their assignments by
posing as a customer of a money transfer agency and wiring £1,500
to a fake ‘relative’ at an address in Canada. However, the cheque
is counterfeit and the money wired to Canada is collected by the
scammer. Victims could be liable for any funds they spend while
waiting for the cheque to pass through the banking system, and end
up losing over £1,500.
Consumers throughout the UK are being targeted
by this scam, which appears to have originated from Canada.
Consumers can avoid falling victim to ‘Secret
Shopper’ Scams by following these easy steps:
- never send money to a stranger using a money transfer
- do not take on face value the validity of a genuine looking
- do not be pressurised into sending your own money in any
‘mystery shopping’ exercise.