Sunday, January 25, 2009

SCAM ALERT!!

On Thursday (1/22/09) I received a wonderful piece of mail, a check for $3730 from GLOBAL MARKET CONSULTANT INC. The catch, I was selected to participate in a "Paid Consumer Research Program" as a "Mystery Shopper" for my area. All I have to do is deposit the check, use $150 for shopping, $100 for training pay, and $3480 for "evaluating" Money Gram (letter does not state to whom the money will be sent, but assuming back to GMCI)<--RED FLAG.

At first glance my thought was kewl! Feasible as I have had contact with many programs and on-line surveys; I have also had free samples sent to my home for "testing". Have also inquired about 'mystery shopping" in a round-about way but nothing definitive.

So like a smart person I started checking for information. Nothing listed in the BBB, which in itself doesn't mean anything. Googled the company, again nothing. Re-read the letter, noticed the Canadian mailing address<--RED FLAG. Then I remembered reading somewhere about a similar scenario that was determined a scam, so started looking for that information. Here it is, (taken directly from American Consumer Opinion website:

WARNING!
Mystery Shopper Scam
A fraudulent Canadian company is using the American Consumer Opinion® name [ACOP not mentioned by name in my letter] to mail counterfeit checks for thousands of dollars, instructing you to deposit the check and then wire part of the money back to them. The company falsely claims the money you wire will go toward your training to become a mystery shopper. This is a criminal and illegal scam. Do not attempt to cash or deposit the check. Do not wire any money to anyone. Membership in American Consumer Opinion® is always free.
Thank you.
Anne Parks,
Vice President of American Consumer Opinion®

Watch out peoples, I almost fell for it. As the ole adage goes, "if it sounds to good to be true,,,"

3 comments:

John McKenzie said...

On 02/07/2009 my 15 year old stepdaughter received a similar letter in the mail. Luckily she is a very smart teenager and brought the letter nd the check to my attention. I read through the letter and at first it seemed like a legitimate business deal. Until I got to the part where she was supposed to send the bulk of the check to GMCI via Money Gram/Western Union. About then I smelled a rat. Then, I looked at the check itself. First I double checked ALL of the security features of the check and the were all there (even the micro printing in the border). The I looked at the check itself; it was from a medical facility in Texas. Big bells and whistles and red flags go off in my head. That is when I figured out that this was indeed to good to be true. Why would a Canadian market consultant company be sending out checks from a Texas medical facility? I then google mapped both the Canadian and New York addresses on the letter and neither was anywhere near a business area. The New York address showed a basketball court, and the Montreal address showed an open area. I am just glad that we didn't fall for this scam. Now its off to alert our local police department about this and let them decide what our next step should be. Thanks for starting this out.

Anonymous said...

3/6/2009
DH received this letter from the Global Market Consultant INC. & handed it to me. The business envelope has no return address on it and the salutation was addressed to "Dear shopper,"

The first sentence states, "This is to inform you that on previous survey by our affiliate Consumer Survey Specialist, you indicated to be interested in an additional income on a part bases."

It reads like a Nigerian scam letter; the sentence makes no sense. The request for a moneygram pretty much says it all. SCAM!

DH's check said it was from SunTrust and was for $995.00; he also answered no surveys.

Thanks to the people who have written in regarding this Global Market Consultant INC company from "Montreal".

I wish the above writer John would write back and advise the final disposition after his contact with the police. I think I will contact the Attorney General's office & the local TV station.

Beth aka "Peete" said...

Anon:

I'm glad you posted a comment because it reminded me that I need to post some further info via Western Union. Hopefully over the weekend I will get the updated info out to y'all. Actually now that I think of it I have a few sites that may be useful too.

From my understanding this scam is an oldie but goodie and resurfaces every few years.