Mystery or Secret Shopping Check Cashing Scam

Mystery or Secret Shopping Check Cashing Scam

The victim of this scam is provided with a fake check or cheque and is advised to cash it and then asked to use some of the proceeds to do some form of mystery shopping at Western Union, some stores or other money transfer companies. Also, the victim may be asked to take part in surveys or other promotional services.

How this scam works?

The scammers behind this fraudulent scheme will ask the victim to transfer funds to unknown individuals and retain the balance from the cashed check as payment.

But, the counterfeit check will bounce and the victim who cashes the check or cheque will be held responsible for the money lost in the transaction and any additional fees imposed by his or her bank.

The Mystery or Secret Shopping Check Cashing Email Scams

Customer Insights Survey!!!

Dear Prospective Shopper,

We are currently accepting limited number of applications from competent shoppers to evaluate Western Union's services and programs, both in-store and on their Website.

Job Description & Responsibilities;

(1) As our shopper posing as normal customers, you will be required to visit the nearest outlet near you to perform specific tasks such as purchasing a product or using a service.

(2) Funds will be provided in form of a Certified Check to cover the expenses of evaluating the outlet.

(3) While there, you will secretly evaluate things like customer service, store cleanliness and quality of service rendered.

(4) Upon completion of the survey you're to simply send us an E-mail with your rating of the store.

Payment Terms;

You will receive a flat sum of $200.00 per assignment. It's fun and rewarding. There is no charge to become a volunteer and You do not require any special skills for this opening.

Application Procedure;

We would like you to participate because it's Fun & Rewarding, please fill out the Application below as we hope to Welcome You to PineCone Research ;

Full Names:
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2:
Zip Code:
Home Phone Number:
Cell / Mobile Phone Number:

We're dedicated to providing our customers the best services possible, and you can help!

So, be careful of anyone that asks you to cash a check and wire funds. Victims of this scam have reported to have lost thousands of dollars because companies do hire secret shoppers and it is hard to distinguish between what is a scam and what is not.

Remember, legitimate companies will never send you a check out of the blue or require you to send money to someone you have never met.

Click here to read about this same scam which uses the PineCone Research name and logo fraudulently.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Comments, Questions, Answers, or Reviews

Comments (Total: 7)

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  • September 13, 2019 at 3:03 PM by an anonymous user from: Houston, Texas, United States

    I received such a solicitation in the mail. In fact, I still have it and the "check" that was sent with it. It was too good to be true and therefore, it was.

  • April 22, 2017 at 4:00 PM by info

    Here is another scam, please do not follow the instructions in it:


    Date: April 22, 2017 at 04:35:47 EDT


    Subject: [#]J0B_NETW0RK_0NLINE[#]


    * We Have a company in { U.S.A } .We need someone to be a [ SECRET_SH0PPERS] .

    * Here we just need someone who is experienced and honest you will be offered some work..

    * You will be paid $500 for one task you are working on to completion.

    * Once we get a response. You will be asked to visit the field for selection!

    *To get more information,Pls send the following info for sign up!

    *1) E.m.a.i.l:

    *2) N.a.m.e:

    *3) Complete_A.d.d.r.e.s.s:

    *4) P.h.o.n.e:


    Mr John Cena."

  • March 9, 2017 at 3:26 PM by an anonymous user from: Columbus, Ohio, United States

    I got an email last week from Mystery Shoppers they asked for my information and today I got a check for 2890.35. I'm supposed to deposit it in my bank deduct 300 from myself send 1500 to Elbert Phillips using Walmart2Walmart and then send 1000 to the same guy using Money Gram and then when done text or call them on this number 8623077207.

    • March 9, 2017 at 3:58 PM by info

      It is a scam, please do not follow their instructions.

  • February 21, 2017 at 12:17 PM by an anonymous user from: Ashburn, Virginia, United States

    Received phone notice to pick up money transaction in the amount of $9,000 with a claim number of AO 767 AND A CALL BACK NUMBER OF 1-360-562-916 which appears to be an invalid number. Looking for information as to the validity of this information.

    I have been informed that I can claim the dollar amount through the local Western Union office located near where I reside.

    • February 21, 2017 at 12:19 PM by info

      It is a scam, please do not fall for it.

  • January 11, 2017 at 1:56 PM by info

    Received via email:

    'I was contacted by a "Mystery Shopper" company and they said they would be contacting me with information on shopping duties they would have for me. I thought it sounded fun, so I gave them my address for them to send my assignments. I hadn't heard anything in a couple of weeks, then yesterday I got two emails saying they had an assignment and I would be receiving a check in the mail with instructions. I got the check and they wanted me to deposit the $2170, buy reload it cards, send the pins and keep the $170.

    I knew it was a scam right away, because why would I buy money cards and send them the info. I looked up the name, Timothy White, and I saw that this scam has been going for some time. Who should I report this to? I still have the check, and funny, "Timothy White" just called me and asked when I would be depositing the check. I said I wasn't sure, because I wanted to make sure I knew what steps to take before letting these criminals off the hook. I wrote down his phone number in case that is of any help. Thank you! Ronda.'

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Mystery or Secret Shopping Check Cashing Scam