Warning: The mystery shopper scam is back!


With the holiday shopping season in full swing, people are looking for ways to make a little extra cash for their shopping budget.

And unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of this by creating fake mystery shopper jobs to steal your money.

Read more: Tips to avoid common holiday hazards, including package theft

Beware of mystery shopper scams

While there are some legitimate mystery shopping opportunities out there, plenty of them are scams. Typically you’ll get a solicitation saying you’ve been selected to be a mystery shopper and your first assignment is to evaluate a money transfer company like Western Union. The scammers will send you a cashier’s check and tell you to cash it and wire the majority of the money though the money transfer company.

They tell you to keep a portion of the money as your ‘pay’ for the evaluation — but don’t be fooled! The check they sent you will turn out to be a fake and you’ll be held responsible for paying back the bank those thousands of dollars. 

Read more: Buyer, beware: Scammers are using fake shopping apps to steal your money

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