Dear Mystery Shoppers,
EliteMysteryShopper.com is currently the victim of identity theft. Someone is pretending to be us, and is sending out fraudulent "mystery shopping assignments" that are actually a notorious check cashing scam.
If anyone sends you a package in the mail containing a large check, and a contract with the Elite Mystery Shopping logo on it, it is a scam. We do not send anything to our Mystery Shoppers by postal mail, and we never mail checks to consumers. Elite Mystery Shopper is an information provider: we show you where to get the jobs; we do not provide the jobs ourselves. So, if you receive any checks or contracts in the postal mail that seem to be from Elite Mystery Shopper, please be advised that those are fake and fraudulent, and we are working with law enforcement and our attorney to try to bring these scammers to justice.
As you may know, scammers often practice something called "phishing" where they pretend to be a bank, or a trusted company, and they send emails or other communications to unsuspecting consumers hoping to cash in on the trust the company has established with consumers. Many top mystery shopping companies have been targeted in this way, including Elite Mystery Shopper. The scammers steal our logo and other identifying characteristics, and send official-looking letters, emails, and checks, pretending to be us, trying to lure unsuspecting consumers into depositing those checks in their bank account (where they will bounce because they are fake), and then getting those consumers to wire money via Western Union to other people involved in the scam. They tell you it's a mystery shopping assignment for Western Union or some other company. The scammers are constantly evolving their approach, so they might ask you to do something completely different than we just described, but the point is, we will not mail you a check and that's the key way to know if they are trying to scam you. If you have any questions please contact us.
One such scam is using the following details:
The scammer, pretending to be Elite Mystery Shopper, will send you a check for $3700.00, or $3,926.50, or some other large amount, stating that part of it is for paid training, part is for a shopping bonus, and part of it is for the "next assignment". The letter may state that you are a "catagory A" customer service evaluator. According to the letter you are to sign and fax it back to a Cocoa, FL fax, and Cocoa, FL phone number and address.
Some of the phone and fax numbers involved in the scam that have been reported to us are:
Street Address: 96 Willard Street, Cocoa, FL 32922
Company name referenced on the fake contract: TNS Global
There may be other phone numbers and addresses being used by the scammers, but the ones above have been reported to us directly, so we include them here for your reference.
If you have any further information about this scam, please forward any and all information you have to us so we can help law enforcement put these scammers in jail where they belong! We are working with law enforcement and our attorney so ANY INFORMATION YOU HAVE ABOUT THIS WILL HELP!
Here are some links to more information about the scam. Most of the large, reputable, legitimate mystery shopping companies are being targeted; using our good reputations to defraud honest, hard-working people.
- Avoiding fake check scams from Fakechecks.org - START HERE
- Federal Trade Commission: Giving the Bounce to Counterfeit Check Scams
- BBB issues warning about latest check scam
- Secret Shopper scam arrests in Canada
REMEMBER Elite Mystery Shopper WILL NEVER contact you via regular mail. We will ONLY contact you via email. If you do receive a letter in the mail claiming to be from Elite Mystery Shopper (with a realistic looking logo) and asking you to mystery shop by cashing a large check THROW THAT OFFER AWAY. It is a check scam ring pretending to be Elite Mystery Shopper. The check will bounce. Remember, Elite Mystery Shopper provides you with links to over 175 resources where you can apply to do legitimate mystery shopping job opportunities, and for your protection, we do it only via email and our website.
We are consulting with our attorney about how best to proceed to bring possible civil or criminal suit against these scammers.
In the meantime, if you believe that you are the victim of such a scam, please alert us immediately.