Beware of mystery shopper offers. Mystery shopper are individuals hired by marketing research companies to evaluate service and product at their stores. This is a legitimate business service but some criminals have pulled money from peoples pockets using this offer.
Scam: The IC3, Internet Crime Complaint Center, received information from radio stations, reporting they had been contacted via e-mail by an individual wanting to run advertising on their radio stations. The individual wanted to purchase radio spots to promote a mystery shopper program. The radio stations received signed confirmations and payments, via credit cards, which cleared. The radio stations ran the ads and, shortly after, began receiving complaints from listeners who had been scammed by the offer. Listeners advised they received a check and were instructed to cash it immediately. After deducting $450 for their commission, they were told to wire the difference to a third party. Later, the check was identified as counterfeit by the financial institution. In addition, the credit card used to pay for the ads was later identified as being compromised.