The Saint John Police Force Fraud Section is currently investigating the following scam:
Secret Shopper Scam
This involves a victim receiving an offer of employment. These deceptive solicitations can occur online or through the mail. In most cases, the job offer involves a money transfer or the wiring of funds related to cashing cheques.
Usually, the victim answers an ad to become a mystery shopper. The fraudsters then send a letter, outlining tasks to be completed which typically involves having the victim attend businesses, cash cheques and record the competence of the staff that they have encountered. Cheques are provided by the fraudsters to help the victim carry out his or her mystery shopping tasks.
Once the victim cashes the cheques provided and completes the tasks, they are then asked to use a money transfer company to wire a portion of the money to a name provided.
When the cheque is processed and found to be fraudulent, the victim is held accountable to pay for the funds that he/she wired.
The Saint John Police Force is reminding the public to be cautious when receiving offers of employment. If unsure of the legitimacy of a cheque, they are advised to contact the issuing company, using a verified phone number, and ensuring the cheque clears before sending off funds.
We encourage the public to search the term “Secret Shopper” or “Mystery Shopper” online to learn more about the scam.
Staff Sergeant Tony Hayes
Saint John Police Force