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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mystery Shopping Cheque Scam! Police Warning residents!

Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service are warning the public about the re-emergence of a scam called the “mystery shopper.” This scam involves the passing of counterfeit cheques.

Mystery Shopping Cheque Scam Offers Advance Payment

Police received complaints from residents who received cheques in the mail in the amount of $1,950.00 from Cambridge Precious Metals. The cheques are accompanied with information advising the recipients that they have been selected as a “mystery shopper” and are asked to help evaluate the “effectiveness and efficiency” of the Western Union money transfer service. They are asked to cash the cheque, keep $450.00 for themselves as an employment fee and then wire back $1,500.00. The cheques are counterfeit and if the recipient participates they become liable for the $1,500.00. Do not cash any cheque that is received unsolicited, and to never send money electronically to strangers.

Experienced Mystery Shopper Offers Insights

A local Mystery Shopper, who has conducted numerous mystery shops of banks and financial institutions, points out:
“It is very unusual to be sent a check in advance of work in any job. With Mystery Shopping, you usually make a small deposit at a financial institution using your own money into your own account, or cash a check that your regular employer pays you. You are usually paid after your completed report is approved by the client-up to six weeks after completing the work. In addition –Mystery Shoppers are rarely paid a huge pay check for a simple evaluation like that. There are many legitimate Mystery Shopping companies, some of which are listed on Mystery Shopping 4 Canada
 Have You Been Kijiji Scammed? 
Peterborough Lakefield Police are now assisting the Edmonton Police Service in identifying victims or person(s) in the Peterborough area who may have information about this Mystery Shopper Scam. The original contact between suspects and victims appears to be through a Kijiji Ad, and the suspects appear to be from the Edmonton area. If anyone has been a victim or has information about this Scam please contact Detective Constable Patti Shaw of the Peterborough Lakefield Police at705-876-1122 ext 214.

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