'Fake check" scam targets mystery shoppers

Published: Jul. 12, 2018 at 5:25 PM EDT
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The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is warning about a "fake check" scam promising free money to mystery shoppers.

To see what the scam letter looks like,

You can find much more information below.

From the United State Postal Inspection Service:
It’s a new twist on the “fake check” scam: People across the country are receiving letters in the mail—accompanied by fat checks—inviting them to earn extra money as mystery shoppers. The letter invites you to become a paid mystery shopper in your area, and the letterhead and check appear to come from a legitimate U.S. company. The listed phone numbers, however, originate in Canada. Here's how it works: the letter instructs you to deposit the check—for, say, $3,750—into your checking account, wire $3,150 using a company like Western Union or Money Gram, keep $300 as pay, take out $200 for wiring fees, and use $100 to purchase merchandise. Then you’re told to contact the person named in the letter for further instructions. Sounds like an easy way to make money, right? But if you deposit the check, you’ll get a notice from the bank that it bounced. And you’re left holding the bag for the $3,750. Postal Inspectors advise that if you receive this offer, do NOT respond. Instead, report the incident to Postal Inspectors online or call Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.