We have been made aware of job posters who are most often disguised as “Mystery Shoppers” or “Secret Shoppers” programs.

The way the scam works is like this… Con artists post jobs on job classified web sites asking for applicants to send them information.  Most often, they don’t include any real, verifiable company information or addresses.  They often do not include contact phone numbers. Rather, they like to work with applicants via email.

The idea is to make eager applicants give them information and then to hire them and send them a check with instructions to cash the check and then wire money (less their “pay”) to an entity usually out of the country. Victims are then asked to fill in a survey and evaluate the service of the money wiring service.

Banks are happy to cash these checks because they can look very real but what happens is that after a victim wires the money to the out-of-country entity, the original check from the “company” bounces and the money wired out of the country is lost by the person who does it.  Once you sign a check and cash it at your bank, you are responsible for that check being good.  You are in essence, vouching for the check writer.

There are legitimate mystery shopping services out there, but right now (2009) we recommend being very suspicious of any job advertising for mystery shoppers.  Here are some clues that should cause you to be suspicious and some ideas on how to avoid being ripped off:

Be suspicious…

  • If the job poster only lists an email address for contact.
  • If you are cannot verify the name, address, or phone number of the company.
  • If you are asked to send money or cash checks for any company during the interview process.

Things to do to avoid being ripped off while looking for a job…

  • Always do a Google search on any company where you are applying
  • Call the company independently using a phone number that you found through your own search because some of these con artists will actually use the name of legitimate companies and tell you they are the hiring managers when in fact, the company is not hiring and they do not work for the company.
  • Do not send potential employers money and if asked to, verify that it is legitimate
  • Check this web site: ScamVictimsUnited to see if any patterns are ocurring that look suspicious.  You have to keep up with these con artists because they change their methods often before authorities can warn the public.

To Con Artists Who Try to Post These Ads Here…

We have seen some of these ads placed on our site.  If we become suspicious that you are playing this game, we will delete your ad first and ask questions later; no refunds.

To Legitimate “Mystery Shopper” Companies

We are happy to have you advertise with us but we must ask that you include your full company information with your ads so that our job seekers can verify that you are a legitimate company.  We are sure that you agree this is in the best interest of all involved (including your company).

Jobs.US.COM Management

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