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Mystery Shopper Scam

Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:17 PM EDT
It's a "mystery" scam, that's hitting local mailboxes and inboxes.
A Bottom Line Alert about a mystery shopping scam, making people "think" they're making money -- but instead, it winds up taking their money.

This scam has been around for awhile, but a few viewers hold told CBS 6's Dori Marlin that it's making a comeback.
Dori even talked to one viewer, who said she lost more than $1,500 to it.
Lori McCormick says she got an e-mail from a company, called Mystery Shopper -- that offered to send her money orders so she could anonymously shop at, and survey, local stores.
McCormack tells Dori, she got the money orders overnight, then deposited and withdrew all $1,900.  McCormack then spent $50 of it at Wal-Mart and kept $200 for herself, as she was told to do, and wired the rest overseas per the instructions.

But McCormack's bank later told her, the money orders were fakes, and she was out all the money.

The Bottom Line?
Mystery shopping is a legitimate income source, and a spokesperson for the Mystery Shopping Providers Association tells Dori, a big red flag is if a company sends you a check up front.  Typically, the shopper is reimbursed after.
The Association also tells Dori, another red flag would be the large amount of money offered.  The typical pay rate per assignment, is about $8 to $20.
Mystery Shopper Scam

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