Scam Alert: Protect Yourself
Received an email with an "assignment" request? Click here for information on what to do
Received a letter in the mail, with or without a cashier's check? Click here for information on what to do.
Call us at 630-246-4545 if you would like more information.
Mystery Shopping Scams
Ann Michaels & Associates routinely and legitimately utilizes mystery shoppers in its standard course of business. However, we have recently been notified of situations in which our name is being used without authorization to entice unsuspecting individuals into a deceptive mystery shopping scheme. Ann Michaels & Associates takes seriously the fraudulent use of our name in this fashion and reports each such occurrence to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and continues to work with the local authorities.
Never pay to become a mystery shopper! This includes never accepting a cashier’s check in exchange for you wiring or sending money to a person or company.
If you are given a check to deposit in advance of doing a shop and/or you are asked to deposit it into your account and wire a specific amount to an unknown entity, the financial institution will hold you responsible for the total amount. It is not a legitimate check!
Recent scams have included the following and may act as a red flag:
The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) has developed the following tips for those interested in becoming a mystery shopper:
If you are contacted by a fraudulent mystery shop company, we suggest you contact one or all of the following: (i) your local police department - ask for the cyber crimes department or an investigator; (ii) the FBI - go to http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx; (iii) the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/contact.shtm, call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, CRC-240, Washington, D.C. 20580; and/or (iv) the e-mail provider - such as AOL, Google, Yahoo, MSN - and go to the “contact us” page to file a complaint. Remember to provide accurate information about the person or persons perpetrating the fraud so that the authorities can assist you in stopping this activity (v) So that we can continue to report each occurrence as well, please notify firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you have. Attaching scanned images of any checks or letters you receive is very helpful.