The BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota has been alerted to a mystery shopper scam. A consumer in Georgia contacted us today to say they had received a letter from Viewpoint, Inc., claiming to offer them employment as a mystery shopper. Along with this 'offer,' there was a check made out to them for $1,900. The letter had a Madrid, Spain postmark, but listed a P.O. Box in Minneapolis as the company's address.
The BBB is advising the public this offer is fraudulent. Though there are firms that employ people to be mystery shoppers, this is not how legitimate companies operate. Also, the money people can earn being mystery shoppers is supplemental, at best.
In the case above, the check for $1,900 is fake. If the consumer had cashed it and then spent money at various stores as they were instructed to do, they would have been out that money when the company's check bounced - plus any money they would have been instructed to wire back to the scammers. This is generally how these scams work.
The BBB is currently working with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to get the company's P.O. Box in Minneapolis shut down.
To avoid falling for mystery shopping scams, consumers should:
- always be extremely leery of checks you receive out of the blue.
- check the company out at www.bbb.org
- remember that legitimate job offers do not require payments upfront, nor do (or should) they require you to wire money.