Beware Of Mystery Shoppers Inc. Knoxville Tennessee Job Scam
Someone going by the name James Smith using the email address: MSPA Shopper Inc® <firstname.lastname@example.org> is sending out this email seeking Mystery (Secret) Shoppers!
Subject: Work Opportunity
From: MSPA Shopper Inc® <email@example.com>
Read more about job description
© 2016 Secret Shoppers, Inc®
BEWARE! This is a fake check cashing/wire transfer scam! The domain centralgatech.edu used in the email address is the website for Central Georgia Technical College and is hosted on a server owned by the Georgia Dept. of Technical and Adult Education, however the email server for the domain is on the blacklist for sending known spam and phishing emails!
The hyperlinked website shown in the email “www.classicshopper.com”, is actually masking another “verified phishing site”: http://himpro.net.ua/components/com_search/y.php (hosted in the Ukraine!) which automatically redirects you to this website: http://llwine4.toccatawine.com/modules/menu/Application-Index.html shown below:
This Fake Company is NOT a Member Of The MSPA!
Per the MSPA North America website located at www.mspa-na.org:
Stick with MSPA Companies to Avoid Scammers
Scammers are operating by pretending to be the MSPA or our member companies, and seeking shopper details by email or telephone. MSPA North America neither advises shoppers to respond to any email requesting payment from them in advance of conducting assessments, nor to any requests that they cash checks and wire the funds to someone else.
Unfortunately, scammers sometimes use the MSPA name or the name of a member. Never click a link you are not sure is real. If there is any question, reach MSPA and our members only through this site.
Please be aware that scammers are sending emails and letters with the MSPA logo and MSPA member logos. It is not the operating procedure of a mystery shopping provider to send you a check prior to completing a mystery shopping assignment. If you have any questions about a check, contact the company; don’t just go to the website. Hackers are stealing the website identities of companies and creating websites that look legitimate. A little extra time in checking the validity will save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you have already received checks or money orders from a scammer, you can report it to the National Consumers League via the online complaint form. In addition, you can report scams for further investigation to the Federal Trade Commission.
If you will notice in the Job Description on the website it clearly states: “Payment will be provided upfront in form of a cashier’s check/money order” AND “You would be sent Payment inform of Cashier’s Check/Money Order, Upfront before you proceed with the evaluation, which would cover $170.00 as your Income for the assignment and the remaining balance of the payment will be used for the Mystery Shopping Assignment Evaluation.” You’ll also notice there are some grammar and sentence structuring errors on this website that indicates it was written by someone whose primary language is NOT english.
The MSPA Logo used on this fake website is the actual image hosted on a legitimate member of the MSPA’s website owned by the Mintel Group which is a leading Market Intelligence Agency that has been in business since 1972!
What To Do If You Are A Victim
If you have fell victim to an employment scam like this, you need to contact your bank immediately and close your account IF you have provided your account information to the scammers. Next file a police report with your local authorities and then file a complaint with the FBI’s internet crime center at http://www.ic3.gov/
If you provided your personal information like ss # birthdate etc , you need to contact the 3 credit bureaus- TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, and place a fraud alert on your report. These criminals can steal your identity and may try and obtain credit in your name. Doing this will alert you for at least 90 days about any suspicious activity.
In the hands of a thief, just your name, address, Social Security number or date of birth, can be used over and over months- even years down the road to:
Open new lines of credit
Seek medical attention
Drain savings and retirement accounts
Provide an alias when arrested
Get a job or file false tax returns
Get Payday Loans in your name
Obtain service agreements for cellular service or utilities
Obtain Government Documents such as a drivers license or passport
That’s why I highly recommend you get some sort of ongoing identity theft protection such as the services offered through companies like LifeLock or Identity Force! LifeLock and Identity Force are both reputable companies that monitors all of your accounts and alerts and protects you from identity theft 24 hrs a day.