Police Warn of Mystery Shopper Scam

By Sarah Klein

Winnipeg Police CrestA mystery shopper scam has Winnipeg police alerting the public to be vigilant in such deceptive or misleading solicitation for employment.

Police say the fraudulent offer involves a money transfer or wiring funds related to cashing monetary instruments or goods based on the promise of reviewing or shopping at a store.

“Typically the victim answers an enticing ad to become a mystery shopper. The “employer” then sends a letter, with mystery shopping tasks to be completed, and a cheque(s) are provided to help the victim fulfill his/her mystery shopping tasks,” police said in a release.

Upon cashing the cheques, the victim is asked to transfer a large portion of the money to a name provided using a wire service. When the cheque is returned as forged, the victim is held accountable to pay for the funds that he/she wired.

Police say if you are unsure of the legitimacy of a cheque, check with the issuing company, using a verified source for the phone number, and ensure the cheque clears before sending off funds.

For further information visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.