Scambusters, Preventing Internet Scams & Phishing Attempts
This blog is dedicated to help preventing internet fraud and internet scams. Scambusters was a radio show I started in Albany Oregon, but due to defaulted payment by the radio station we took the show offline. Regardless of this issue we still wish to help prevent internet fraud and save people from internet loss. I have been interviewed and featured in various publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times & Daily News, The London Times & AARP Newsletters. Please watch this blog for latest tips and tricks and scams to avoid.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Mystery Shopper / Secret Shopper Scam - Fake / Fraud.
The pressure put upon him to get the check cashed and the monies from it shipped off within two days works to keep him from discovering that the check he was given was counterfeit. Once this information comes to light (as it eventually does), our hapless "mystery shopper" is left on the hook with the bank for the value of the rubber check. As to how a cashier's check can bounce, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) requires banks to make money from cashier's, certified, or teller's checks available in one to five days. Consequently, funds from checks that might not be good are often released into payees' accounts or handed to them in cash long before the checks have been honored by their issuing banks. High quality forgeries can be bounced back and forth between banks for weeks before anyone catches on to their being worthless, by which time victims have long since turned over the monies the bank gave them to the con artists who have just taken them for a ride.
In a common version of this scam, the unsuspecting dupe is supplied with a money order bearing a face value of between $2,800 and $3,300 and told to use it at a Wal-Mart to purchase a MoneyGram for the amount of the check less the cost of the wire transfer and the $100 or $200 the mystery shopper is to keep as payment for his services. The wired amount is to be sent to a person in Canada that the sender is to claim is his relative.
A more potent form of the con game is an updated version of the "reshipper" scam. As in the original, the pigeon receives a worthless check from the scam artist, cashes it with a financial institution (in this instance, a money transfer company akin to Western Union), keeps a small portion for himself, and sends the remainder to the crossroader running the con. And as in the original, once the certified or cashier's check bounces, the person cashing it becomes liable for the amount the bank or check-cashing agency is out. The differences lies in the backstory presented to the victim: In the original he is led to believe he has been hired by an overseas firm to facilitate the processing of payments from its U.S. customers, but in the "secret shopper" version he is told he has been hired as a "mystery shopper" and that his first assignment is to test the MoneyGram system to determine how well it performs and how courteously its customers are treated. Although the set-up is different, the underlying scam is the same.
Thank you for your interest in the Mystery Shopper position.
Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies in order to help them achieve their performance goals.
We offer an integrated suite of business solutions that enables corporations to achieve tangible results in the marketplace.
We get hired by other companies and act like customers to find out how they are handling their services in relation to their customers.
Mystery Shopping is the most accurate and reliable tool a business can use to gather information regarding their actual customer service performance at the moment of truth. This moment of truth is not when the staff is on their best behavior because the boss is around - it is when they interact with customers during their normal daily routines.
This is where you, the Mystery Shopper, come in. You pose as an ordinary customer and provide feedback of both factual observations (ex...the floor was free of debris) and your own opinions (ex...I felt that the temperature in the establishment was too cold).
Mystery Shoppers must remain anonymous. You must act as a regular customer and be careful not to do anything that would reveal you as a shopper. An inexperienced shopper could tip off the staff to his/her identity by asking for the manager's name for no clear or appropriate reason. If you are going to be bringing someone with you on the shop, make sure you educate them about the process as well. Beware that even whispers can be overheard by employees. If anyone notices you are a shopper, you can bet that word will quickly spread around the establishment and you will get some of the best customer service in town.
No company can afford to have a gap between the promise of quality and its actual delivery, that's why leading corporations look to us, the nation's premiere mystery shopping and customer experience measurement company.
In order for a business to effectively compete in today's economy, they must be prepared to meet the challenge of increasing sales by:
* Retaining existing customers
* Acquiring new customers
* Creating word-of-mouth advocacy
* Improving customer loyalty
Once we have a contract to do so, you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given the funds you need to do the job(either purchase merchandise or require services), after which you would write a detailed report of your experience.
Examples of details you would forward to us are:
1) How long does it take to get served.
2) Politeness of the attendant.
3) Customer service professionalism.
4) Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they deal with difficult clients.
Then we turn the information over to the company executives and they will carry out their own duties in improving their services.
Most companies employ our assistance when people complain about their services, or when they feel there is a need for them to improve upon their customer service.
Our company partners with you to implement proven mystery shop auditing and surveying strategies that provide critical information about customer experiences.
You will be paid a commission of $100 for every duty you carry out, and bonus on your transportation allowance.
Your task will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of restaurants, retail stores, casinos, shopping malls, banks and hotels in your area.
Qualities of a good Mystery Shopper:
* Is 21 years of age or older
* Loves to go shopping
* Is fair and objective
* Is ON TIME
* Is very observant and able to focus on details
* Is fairly intelligent
* Has patience
* Is detail oriented
* Is practical
* Types well
* Is trustworthy
* Explains well in writing
* Is discreet
* Loves to learn
* Handles deadlines
* Has full internet access (at home or at work) Mystery Shopping is fun and exciting but also must be approached very seriously and is definitely not for everyone.
If you are interested in applying for consideration as a Mystery Shopper do send in your information: firstname.lastname@example.org Full Name:
As soon as we receive your information we will add you to our database and we will look for locations in your area that needs to be evaluated.
410 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105