Help Wanted, Send Money – The Saga Continues and Now I’m Scared

For anyone who was following my “job application” process to become a mystery shopper, I received another email from this place and it’s starting to get scary.  (Here is the last post:  Send Money)  In short, there was an ad in the local paper to become a “mystery shopper”, I applied, was accepted (based on nothing) and told to send $150 USD so that I could be upgraded to a VIP mystery shopper in their database.

I responded that I wouldn’t send any upgrade money and the gentleman told me he would talk to his boss to see if there was a way around that fee.  A few weeks later, apparently there is!

My newest email is quite lengthy but skim it to uncover a poorly hidden scam.  But what is this?  Money laundering?  Where is this money really coming from?

This package is actually on the way from NYC.  To what address?  Rebecca Coutant in San Pedro, Belize?  It is in Managua, Nicaragua right now.  Waiting for transport to Belize.

Someone tell me what is really going on.  And…I am starting to get nervous.  I don’t like my name on this package.  Advice?

Bottom line:  this is obviously money laundering or a fake check so I won’t be involved in this going forward.  And I suggest you aren’t either.

Hello Rebecca Coutant

We appreciate your interest in working with us as Mystery Shopper and we are using the medium of notify you will be receiving Your first assignment as a Secret shopper via DHL. We are glad you have received your first payment package assignment.

There are 3 assignments:

Assignment (A) Get the Check cash or deposit at your bank and ask them the date the check get clear.
Assignment (A) Any of this Department Store or Shopping Mall Evaluation
Assignment (B) Western Union Evaluation

IMPORTANT NOTE:-

You need to acknowledge the recipient of this package via email as soon as you receive it. And also send reports via email as soon as you complete your first assignment today.

You will be Evaluating the Department Store or Shopping Mall and Western Union outlet in your City. {EVALUATE THE NEAREST STORES}.

INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:-

*******************************************************
Here Is The Tracking Number:  DHL #   74 ##########
*******************************************************

Instructions To Follow.

Once you receive the check for $3,950 you should take the payment to your BANK and cash the payment today as they have been made out for instant cashing then you deduct $400 as your commission. The remaining balance should be used for the assignment.Please ensure to follow all instructions and get this assignment completed today. You will be Evaluating Department Store or Shopping Mall and Western Union outlet closest to you. When you have received cash from your bank you will deduct $400 as your commission and assignment allowance. And then Go ahead with Department Store or Shopping Mall or Wal-mart Evaluation The payment you received covers all expenditures including evaluation, shopping and your compensation (salary=$400 ) for these surveys. You are to purchase Goods of your Choice for your own Use not more than $100 at any Department Store or Shopping Mall closest to you and also you will be using Western Union services to send the balance to another Mystery shopper to carry out his own Assignment.

As a secret shopper, you should go there and study how to send money and memorize all you see at the outlet. We want you to report back to us with the following information:

REPORT GUIDELINES

(1)-How long it took you to get services.
(2)-Ambiance/Outlook of the Shop/Outlet
(3)-Smartness of the attendant
(4)-Customer service professionalism
(5)-Reaction of personnel under pressure
(6)-Information that you think would be helpful
(7)-Your comments and impressions.
(8)-Location/Address of Store you evaluated.

***************************************************************

BELOW IS THE EXPENDITURES BREAKDOWN:-

Check Received:              $3,950
Per Assignment Salary:    $400.00
Western Union Charges:  $100
Wal-mart:                   $100.00
Money To be sent:          $3,350
***************************************************************

As a secret shopper your job is to observe any thing useful going on in the outlet. Make sure you observe everything you see in there because you would be asked some other questions when you return. So then you would go ahead and make a western union money transfer to another mystery shopper for another assignment.

We want you to deduct your weekly payment of $400 and have the remaining funds (minus the western union charges which should be less than $100 and also $100 for whatever you will be buying at Wal-mart) sent to the information below for proper preparation of our next Mystery Shopper and make sure the transfer is sent in money in Minute.

TRANSFER THE REST OF THE FUNDS THROUGH WESTERN UNION TO THE BELOW INFORMATION:

RECEIVER’S NAME:     Maxime Blanc
Address    :               50-65 45 ST
City           :             WOODSIDE
Country     :              NEW YORK
Zip Code   :               11377
Country     :              USA

Also to further finalize this Assignment, you have to get back to us with the Necessary report with the WESTERN UNION TRANSFER INFORMATION for the money you sent to the other mystery shopper :

1. Senders Name and Address
2. 10 Digit Money Transfer Control Number {M.T.C.N}
3. Amount Sent :

This assignment shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours to execute and the time limit matters to us, with that we can also determine your efficiency and the commitment you show towards working with us. Do get back to me with the Reports and Transfer information.

Looking forward to working with you on this shopping assignment. And remember to act to be a client who wants to Shop and send money and make all observations.

Acknowledge The Receipt of this message

Yours Sincerely.
Contact Person: Mike Rupers
(Human Resources Manager)
Phone Number: 843 808 1551
Time: 24 Hours daily by e-mail
Processing Job-Unit.
Secret Shopper®




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  • I didn’t read the whole thing – but if you play with fire you are gonna get burned. This is certainly a scam. Chances are the first cheque you receive via DHL will be a forgery. If it isn’t you just made over $3,000 US for sending a couple of emails.

  • Me

    Trust me…I am not picking up or cashing any random checks. This is all ridiculous…I’m done with it.

  • What happens is you cash their bogus check and forward the money to that address. Then your bank comes back to you and debits you for the total amount of the bad check!

  • Just toss the package when it arrives. It’s not a real check, so nothing will happen if you don’t cash it….except that you’ll avoid having your bank account emptied.

  • As long as you don’t give up your information, there’s literally nothing they can do.

    I say you continue on and try to put these fools behind bars. Don’t cash the check or anything, but maybe take the check to someone of authority and have them find out if it’s real or not, and if it’s not (if it’s a forged check), have them hunt these idiots down!

    Granted, not exactly a CIA in Belize….but someone could surely help.

  • Mike Rupers is advertising in Puerto Rico for “mystery shoppers”, as well. Just so you know……you have the right to refuse the delivery. Maybe think about doing that.

  • The way it works is your bank will say the check is good. A month later, it will come back as bad from the federal level. Since it is linked to you account, you are out the money. We just got a partial check from our $125 million dollar lottery winnings. We are b once they get the $2000 “tax” check from me. Think I will go island shopping today.

  • I used to work in a bank. People would bring in these kinds of checks quite a bit. The money usually hits your account the next day or two and becomes available HOWEVER the money has not been confirmed as being on a legit promissory note (the check). You take out all of the money and distribute it, but the check bounces back once it reaches processing. You’ve just sent 3,000 cash to someone and all they had to do was make a bad check. You get stuck with paying the bank the lost money. Hope this helps. Don’t do anything with the check and inform authorities of the email and any correspondence you’ve had.
    PS – Love your blog.