Friday, April 9


Hey Guys...okay here is a bizarre story for you that has nothing to do with stamping, other than stamping is sane! LOL! Ready it is a long story so grab a drink and get comfortable...... oh and you don't have to read the small print unless you want to...I'll be back later this weekend with a card!
Here we go, I am basically a lazy girl who just loves to play...(stamping that is) but at the same time, I would like to make some extra money (DUH....all my stamping proceeds go back to stamping toys ) so I've been thinking about what I could do for a little extra cash, and realized I know a few secret shoppers and thought maybe that would be fun for me, then I received an email about becoming one! Cool! I sent in the application which was not very involved just a few generic questions about name and address etc. and waited for my acceptance.
A few days went by and I received a letter telling me I had been accepted and to watch my email for further instructions. This next morning I had my first acceptance......yippee I needed to go to Wal-Mart and Western Union! Hmmmm the letter read as follows...

Dear Donna,
You have been accepted as out Mystery Shopper Survey/Agent. You will be evaluating a Wal-Mart and Western Union Store in your neighborhood. You will need to locate the nearest store and let us know their addresses in your next email to us. That is where you will be conducting your evaluation. Please remember to act confident and appropriate while carrying out the survey as not to arouse suspicion. We will furnish you with directions and all transfer details to perform the surveys. You will write a report after shopping at Wal-Mart and send it back to us via email answering the following questions:
1) how long it took in line to purchase your items
2) ambiance and cleanliness of the store
3) courteousness of the cashier
4)reaction of personnel under pressure
5)your comments and impressions of the transaction
You will conduct a transfer of funds at Western Union and evaluate the ease and efficiency of that service.
Please respond to this email and funds will be sent to you to carry out all that is required of you including your compensation for this assignment. Be sure to check your email each day and you will be updated on when to commence your shopping. Your prompt attention to this and subsequent emails shows your ability of becoming a good Mystery Shopper!
Thank you,
William Morris
Mystery Shopper, Inc
So, I sent the email back with the appropriate info regarding the stores in my area and they sent me an email saying they will send me the materials needed to conduct the surveys via FedEx overnight. Sure enough at 7:00 am this morning my door bell rang and I got an envelope from FedEx.....with this!!!! Um.... that is a check in the amount of $1900! Whoaaaa now that is easy! Here is the letter that accompanied it.

Dear Donna,
Here is your first assignment. You will be evaluating the Wal-Mart Store at 230 Oak Street and the Western Union Store at 600 Belmont St. The check sent to you for $1900, covers all expenditures including evaluation, shopping, transportation, and your compensation for this assignment.
Deposit this check into your account. $200 is for your compensation for this survey, $50 for a purchase at Wal-Mart, $30 for transportation, $80 for transfer fees at Western Union and $1540 for a transfer of funds at Western Union.
Go to Wal-Mart and purchase goods in the amount of not more than $50. Conduct the evaluation with the questions outlined below in mind, in order to fulfill the requirements of the survey.
Go to Western Union and conduct a transfer in the amount of $1540 to the address below, with the questions outlined below in mind to fulfill the requirements of the survey.
Please send all transaction details to the address below.

Pearsall, TX 7060

Once the funds transfer is complete provide the following information in your report.
-senders full name
-secret answer (if applicable)
-Western union transfer charge #
-Actual amount of transaction sent
-Money Transfer Control #
Wal_Mart: $50
Transportation allowance: $30
Western Union Transfer Fee: $80
Western Union Transaction: $1540

Remember to follow the guidelines in the questions to facilitate this assignment.
_How long did transactions take
-Cleanliness and over all appearance of the stores
-Professionalism of the attendant
-courteousness of the cashier
-Customer Service
-Information that you think that would be helpful
Please fill out the enclosed questionnaire for each establishment and send it back in the supplied envelope.
We are expect a detailed report. Please conduct this evaluation within the next 6 days.

Thank you,
William Morris
Mystery Shopper, Inc.

Ok, so curiosity gets the best of me and I decide to check this out. I am on the phone with Wells Fargo, the bank that issued the check for over 45 minutes with absolutely no satisfaction on whether or not this is a scam. They have this person, with an account, with funds in it and see no problem with the check......hmmmmm well it is not going to be deposited in my account nosireee. I am still a little freaked out by the whole thing.
So what's next, well I called the Wells Fargo near me and found out that the account is in fact active, and that because the check is drawn off that account, in that bank I could just come on over and cash it there. ARE YOU GETTING THIS STUPIDITY? Some stranger sends out $1900 to Donna C , whom they do not know and then the bank says "come on down" and we'll give you some money! The bank is just as carazzzzy! This is insane I asked the bank if I could mail it back to them and this is what they said and I quote...."we have no provisions in our policy to allow that".... WHAT! Silly wabbit..... I am flabbergasted! LOL!!!!! OH and don't worry I am not going to carry out the assignment or put that check into my account just gonna dump it in the trash! ~Enjoy your weekend!


iriseyes said...

Donna, this sounds SO much like a scam! In our small business we have to fend off a lot of this type os scam - you put their BOGUS check in the bank, send YOUR MONEY TO THEM THRU western UNION (and WU will never help the police apprehend the criminal). By the time your bank lets you know they cannot collect on the check, TOO LATE!!!
This is a different form of that scam letter we all get where you have to send a sml amt of money to get millions in funds from some defunct govt in Africa. GOOD ON YOU FOR RECOGNIZING IT - TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

Cammie said...

But the bank said there was funds in the account to cover the cheque??

Melissa Sauls said...

Don't do it!! It is indeed a scam! I found the info on Someone posted you exact details. Email them back and ask them for a cashier's check instead.

Little GTO said...

You are one smart cookie. Good girl. Get biscuit! Hee hee!
Sharon L

Betty said...

Good for you! Greed is what allows these scammers to operate.

LeAnne said...

Oh my goodness....iriseyes is exactly right, it's a scam. And I just saw on the news last night about these job fairs where you can find out info about working at home, and this was one of the schemes they said you really needed to be careful about!!! Good for you to be leery. But there are many unsuspecting people out there who will unknowingly fall for it!

Shelia said...

Well I didn't fall to sleep reading the story, because I wanted to read the ending. Only thing was I can't decide whether it was a happy ending or not. I was Happy that it didn't draw you in, but unhappy, because we can't trust anyone anymore. Thanks for the eye opener. Just stick to your creative side, it will take you to the top ;)

JK Legacy Scrapbooks said...


Good for you not giving in to the temptation!

You ought to send the stuff to the FTC (federal trade commission) so they can investigate it. I saw something like this on 60 minutes or 20/20 a few months back. It might help save another poor unsuspecting person from giving in to the scam.


Doris said...

I think it would be a good idea to report this to the authorities, too. It's a shame that people like this can get away with that kind of scam. You're so wise to have recognized it!

Andrea L - EnchantINK said...

Oh Donna! Thank goodness you realised if something sounded too good to be true ... then it probably is.
We had an experience like you, too! We closed down our Hi-Fi shop and my dh was selling some left over stock on E-Bay. He was contacted by someone in Russia to purchase a very expensive speaker ($1800 value) ... the money was deposited into our bank account by electronic transfer + postage of about $160). So ... all seemed good ... and dh organised for overseas delivery for this rather large speaker. After a few weeks our bank withdrew the money from our account claiming that someone in Russia had taken money from another bank customer's account and deposited it into ours! After a lengthy process we did get our money back ... because ... it was the bank's fault that they had allowed a non approved transfer ... so they had to wear the cost. Then ... the police were called in to investigate on behalf of the bank ... and came and interviewed my dh (not that there was any problem at our end ... but they just needed details) because apparently it was the RUSSIAN MAFIA ... who was behind this scam!!! Yikes!!! I am not sure how the final investigation went ... but it was rather an interesting experience and we are just very thankful that we weren't out of pocket in the end! Hugs, Andrea xxx

Anonymous said...

I did nothing to inquire about a secret shopper job but did receive a check in the mail with all of the same information you had about being a secret shopper and how to process it.
My scam alert hairs immediately stood up on the back of my neck. I reported it to the postal service since this check was sent to me thru the US mail.
More then ever before this is a time in all of our lives to live by the advise "if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true".

Chantal said...

I get about 10 spam's by e-mail on a daily bases. I don't even bother with them. I delete! I even get some that say: from google, or MSN hotmail account. But by looking at there e-mail address, I know it's a scam. On another note, your fathers card is realy nice. Have a great week-end!

audrey said...

Too bad these scammers cant use their brains for something worthwhile, they might be brilliant at it!!
So sad that the world has come to this sort of crazy stuff, and also that there are so many people out there that would follow the instructions and hop right to their bank.
Good for you for being vigilant.

Betty aka ZacksNana said...

right out of the gate my "SCAM" signals went up. Glad you didn't fall for it!

Lindam530 said...

Wow! I am glad that you did not go through with it...if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is...If I were you...I would take this to the AUTHORITIES!!! For sure!

Jen said...

Donna, you know I work at a bank so I have to tell you that I see this kind of scam way too often. Most people (like you) realize that something is just not right but unfortunately, I've seen some of my customers become victims (one to the tune of $15,000). One common element to these scams is the Western Union part the other is the poor wording of the communications. Most of the scams originate overseas and you can tell by the wording that English is not their primary language. Good for you for realizing that this was bogus and for getting the word out that everyone should be cautious about these things.

Sylvia said...

Wow! I have not heard of this scam! My husband was offered a job as an engineer in the oilfield for Exxon, in Nigeria. He was offered this astronomical salary, but all he needed to do was get his documentation. At first I thought it was real because of all the Exxon stuff, but because it was Nigeria and we lived and my husband worked in Nigeria, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up! I started checking out on the internet. The long and short of it, which included several phone calls they made from Nigeria, it was indeed a scam. You send money and your banking info for the papers you need to get into the country, then they send you salary up front along with your paperwork. My husband is so gullable he believed it. I e-mailed Exxon and asked them and they did reply and thanked me for contacting them. It indeed was a scam. So there is no end of scams out there. I would take the check and frame it, something to laugh about.

Anonymous said...

You should bring it to the attention of the police department, what is sad to me is that there might be an elderly person or a desperate family that may get tricked into losing what little money they have.

Kathy Mc said...

OMG, Donna, good thing you didn't pursue this any further. Everything I've read about Mystery Shoppers is a scam. Hopefully, you won't get inundated with spam emails now. You may have to change your email address because of this. They can be very malicious! Thanks for sharing your story with everyone as it may prevent others from considering this venture!

Anonymous said...

As far as the cheque goes I hope you shredded it and not just throw it out.

Arielle ~ SnappyStamper said...

Hey Donna, I just read this about free money scamss on Yahoo & thought about you...
check it out!