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Beware of this scam!

Updated on August 25, 2012


Secret Shopper

We live in a time where we should not believe all that we hear or see. With the explosion of the internet it makes it so easy for scam artists to find potential victims with ads that are preying on their emotion and they become lead into something that can cause them financial ruin. It is so easy to be pulled into something. It does not matter your education or your status in life. If you are drawn to something and you are guided by your emotions rather than your logic then you are an easy target for the scam artist.

I thought I was too smart to be outwitted by a scam artist but I too was mislead and I was also guided by emotion rather than logic and common sense. I am sharing this with you because I lost around $3,000.00 to the scam artists and I have been very depressed and now pleading with my bank to work with me in keeping my account open. I feel like such a fool! I do not want others to fall victim to these evil people who have nothing better to do than steal from the innocent and try to do it over and over again. It is a sad situation that people like this exist and their main agenda is to steal as much as they can from innocent people lured into these scams.

I will share with you the following which lured me into something I should have stayed away from and it reads as follows:


We are accepting applications for qualified individuals to become secret shoppers. It's fun and rewarding.There is no charge to become
a shopper and you do not need previous experience and you would be paid $300 for every duty you carryout.

1. You will receive funding for the assignment.
2. You will receive the Instruction for your assignment via email on the location and details of the assignment.
3. You are to complete the assignment as fast and discreetly as possible.
4. You will be asked to visit a business location to conduct business be it a restaurant, shopping store etc.

You will receive a flat sum of $300 per assignment. The company will furnish you with all expense needed for the assignment and any other expense incurred during the course of executing your assignment.

Your Full Name:
Your Address (NOT P.O Box):
City, State,
Phone Number(s)
Mobile Number(s)
Email :

Regards .
Jeffery Morgan

I innocently responded to this e-mail and thought I would find a way to make a little side money and have the opportunity to shop and be paid for it by sharing my experience. I learned that this was a hoax, a scam but it was much too late and the damage was already done.

Here is the next e-mail I received from this scam artist listed as follows:

Good Day,
   I want to use this medium to inform you that your first assignment 
package as a secret shopper has been sent out to you and will be 
delivered  to you today or Monday morning via US postal service,below is 
the tracking number from US postal service and you can as well track it 
yourself to see the delivery summary via WWW.USPS.COM
Tracking number: 
   You are to follow the instructions inside the package as soon as you 
get the package and proceed with the assignment.
The reason for the western union is because our Finance department has 
just established a new system that you might have never heard of and it 
is called Alert pay,this service is been Privately owned and established 
under our management since 2004 with many competitors. we have a very 
low rating and few customers and we want to develop and upgrade our 
service to the best and fullest. So we only need the reports you provide 
so we can work on our service.This is why we want you to send the 
balance via western union transfer via money in minutes so that we can 
test the service if it is working properly.
Hope to hear from you as soon as you complete the assignment,
Contact Person: Jeffery Morgan
Time: 24 Hours daily by e-mail
Hiring Management.
Tel : 214-613-7951

I received this e-mail anticipating my first assignment and I believed everything was above board at this point as I was thinking purely with my emotions. I was a bit excited about the prospects and curious as well.

This was the next e-mail I received from this scam artist, Jeffrey Morgan, probably an alias.

 I want to use this medium to let you know your first assignment has been
sent to your house from the post office,i will want you to be on a look out
for the package because it will be delivered to you today.
Also,i will want you to check your MAILBOX daily from time to time to see
if you have any delivery or NOTICE from the post office because the package
has been sent to you already. 
Email me if you have any question regarding the assignment given to you as
a secret shopper  because i sent you all the tracking number of the package
from the post office,check your email inbox or spam folder carefully.
Thanks And Best Regards,
Jeffery Morgan.
Hiring Manager

So I was awaiting a package I should have thrown away immediately but that is in hindsight. There were many e-mails and phone calls and I should have realized why they kept pressuring me and that should have sent an alarm off but emotion got in the way.

This e-mail was very disturbing to me and very threatening and I was duped into believing that I must pay the money out to this scam artist who initially I thought was a company representative rather than a thief! I should have abandoned my involvement in this immediately upon receipt of this e-mail but I was too innocent and caught up in it to think wisely. Here is the e-mail I received.

Dear Prospective Shopper

We are sending this email to state our disappointment on your sudden silence after the funds have been withdrawn from your bank and the company account charged,and yet to receive your update on the status of the first assignment and evaluation report,your action seems suspicious and not inline with our operational policy,other mystery shoppers completed their assignment at their respective location. We can categorically assure you that you can not abscond with the company funds,you have been given the instructions for your evaluations,the name and address of the next mystery shoppers,the assignment procedure,why are you delaying the submission of the report despite our series of appeal stating the urgency of the transaction. We have several measures to curb theft and indulgence with the company funds that have been entrusted in your custody,we wont hesitate to contact the federal bureau operatives,who have been monitoring our transaction and you ll face the consequence of not abiding with our operational policy which is likely 25 years prison sentence,you have been warned to adhere to our instructions by emailing us the details of the first evaluations and observations. We will not hesitate to contact the law enforcement agent about your actions if you fail to update this company on the status of the funds received in your bank. You have been warned. I will await your prompt response. Best Wishes and Regards Jeffery Morgan Hiring Manager Market Force Information, Inc┬ęDistrict office in Rhode Island Tel:401-380-7891

As I read this I was thinking that I should not associate myself with this but I was sitting on 3 US postal service money orders that was sent in the package totaling approximately $3,000.00 and I was to take a fee of $300.00 and wire the rest out by western union as instructed in the following instructions:

Below is the instructions to follow as a Secret Shopper for your first assignment. Take Note: You are to act like a secret shopper when you get to both stores (Wal Mart and Western Union). You are to keep the note inside the package you will receive today at home and go for the shopping. You are to write out the details needed to complete the assignment today inside a small piece of paper before going for the shopping. Details:1st survey: You will be evaluating any Wal Mart Store in your City, cash the 3 money orders or deposit the money orders at your bank and then go ahead with any Wal Mart Evaluation in your area. The money orders you received covers all expenditures including evaluation, shopping, transport and your compensation (salary=$300 but you get $300 per assignment and you get 2 or more surveys weekly for these surveys. You are to purchase goods of your choice for your own use not more than $20, at any Wal Mart store close to you, below is the guidelines to follow at the store: Guidelines

-Name and Address of the stores

-Procedure of attendance:-How many attendances in the outlet:

-How many minutes it took for them to attend to you:

Email me back with the above guidelines as soon as you get the survey completed.Also you will be using Western Union services to send the balance to another Secret shopper to carry out her own survey. As a secret shopper, you should go there and study how to send money and memorize all you see at the outlet. The reason for the western union is because our Finance department has just established a new system that you might have never heard of and it is called Alert pay and this service is been privately owned and established under our management since 2004 with many competitors we have a very low rating and few customers and we want to develop and upgrade our service to the best and fullest. So we only need the report you provide so we can work on our service. Also to further finalize this survey, you have to get back to us with the below western union transfer information for the money you sent. You are to send the money in minutes:As a secret shopper your job is to observe any thing useful going on in the outlet. Make sure you observe everything you see in there because you would be asked some other questions when you return. So then you would go ahead and make western union transfer to another Secret shopper for another survey. Transfer the rest of the funds through western union to the below information:Name: Ellen Smith Address: 10 Avon Street City: Malate State: Manila Country: Philippines Zip Code: 1250

Email me the below details as soon as you get it done:

1. Senders Name and Address

2. 10 Digit Money Transfer Control Number (M.T.C.N.)

3. The amount transferred after deducting western union transfer charges.

Please send me an email just to let me know that you have gotten the 1st assignment. And also, as soon as you complete the assignment, please send me an email at:

Thanks and Best Regards,

Jeffrey Morgan.Tel:401-380-7891

I had felt threatened and scared so I did as instructed and wired approximately $2,500.00 by Western Union to the recipient indicated. When I completed the transfer I sent a reply e-mail indicating the information requested. Within a half hour after the receipt was acknowledged I received this e-mail:

Hello,the below is the tracking number of your 2nd assignment via FDEX.COM and you can as well track it yourself tomorrow morning to see the delivery status via because it will be delivered to you first thing tomorrow morning and you can get the package and complete the assignment as well during your lunch break tomorrow.

Tracking number :

Instructions to follow, make sure you complete the assignment today and email me with the reports;

You are to cash all the 5 money orders at once at your bank,deduct $300 for your salary and proceed to western union to send the rest of the balance as you did for the first assignment but you are to splits the funds into 2 places and send it to the same person which is Ellen smith but you are to send the funds in 2 transactions and email me the 2 transfer details as soon as you get it done.

Please kindly complete the assignment tomorrow because we need your response;

Email me the below details as soon as you get it done for the 2 transactions;

1. Senders Name and Address
2. 10 Digit Money Transfer Control Number {M.T.C.N}
3.The amount transferred after deducting western union transfer charges.

Thanks And Best Regards,
Jeffery Morgan

I became very suspicious when I read this and immediately realized these money orders were most likely counterfeit but it was too late and I had already sent the money by Western Union. I knew when I receive this package I would immediately call the Police and visit the Post office to report the mail fraud and the money order counterfeiting. As I suspected my bank reversed out the deposits and my balance was now negative. I had to take out credit card advances to restore my balance and now have to plead with the bank to keep my account from being closed. I am an innocent victim and I don't want to be a victim twice! I learned the hard way to NEVER deposit monies you receive where you are instructed to deposit them and wire out to someone you don't know. I was taken and I am very upset about this.

I have taken the proper steps in dealing with this by filing a police report and surrendering the 5 fraudulent money orders to a US postal service representative. I am also working with my bank to straighten this all out as I have been very emotional about this to the point of taking my life because I am so distraught and I am worried about losing my bank account which I can not afford to because everything in my daily life is tied to it. I lose that, I lose everything. I need to learn from this awful experience, share it with others so they do not fall for this deceitful and awful scam. I hope that justice will be served and these criminals get caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

I am hopeful that the authorities will catch this scam artist and his cohorts and I hope they spend the rest of their lives in jail where they belong so they never hurt any more innocent people who may fall victim to this scam of Secret Shopper.

If you are a victim of a scam you must be proactive and must notify the authorities immediately and file a police report at once. This is a must! Do not fall for any of these scams. They are very easy to fall prey and victim to. Be smart and walk away! If it sounds too good to be true it is too good to be true! Always remember that!

Edward D. Iannielli III´╗┐


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    • ediann profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Yes, thank you FGual. I learned a very expensive lesson and I only hope these scam artists are put away to jail where they belong so they don't hurt anyone else. They are very persistent and they are evil. I agree with you. They all should be condemned to hell. They hurt so many innocent people and they need to pay the price for their evil doings.

    • FGual profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Great hub that we should all memorize. I have fallen for at least one, but not for nearly as much money. Plenty of work at home scams out there, always delete any unsolicited email as spam.

      May the Rats burn in hell


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