Scam Alert: Beware of online mystery shopping deals

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jan 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-05 19:13:00-05

An online ad for an online mystery shopping deal sounded like a good deal to one woman.

No experience was required and Susan would be paid for shopping.

Within days, she received an envelope with a shopping survey, checks and instructions.

“Deposit two checks into my account and send him the money by wire transfer,” says Susan Victoria Currenn, a fraud victim.

She kept $150.00 and sent the rest back.

Susan was then asked to do more. She was asked to stuff hundreds of envelopes with the same mystery shopper letter and money orders that were counterfeit, unbeknownst to her.

“He would send me a list with names on it. I would put that name on the money order,” says Currenn.

She would then send the envelope with money orders inside. Once she did, she ended up being part of a fraudulent reshipping scheme.

“We have so many unsuspecting individuals who are just innocently seeking employment and finding themselves caught in some sort of scam,” says Victoria Kimbro, US Postal Inspector.

Postal inspectors began tracking the numerous packages and realized they were all being sent overseas.

“I felt like a fool that I didn`t catch on sooner,” says Currenn.

People would deposit these bogus money orders, send money to the conmen only to learn days later the money orders were counterfeit. Susan now realizes that she played a role in people losing money and it is a heavy burden.

“I feel bad for those people. That I`ve been part of a scam and I feel responsible for that.

A warning from postal inspectors, closely scrutinize online job offers.

“You must think, why would someone send you something to be sent to an address outside the country,” says Kimbro.

Susan says inspectors took her computer emails and files she kept about the job and hopes it will help shut the scam down.

“Hopefully what I gave them will help them catch the guy, I hope it does, I really hope they do,” says Currenn.

Postal inspectors warn all consumers to be wary about job opportunities found on the Internet. Do your research. Find out more about the company and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints.