Check Cashing/Western Union Scam Alert

ALERT: Spies in Disguise has often been the target, along with many other Mystery Shopping companies, of criminal activity whereas random people were receiving letters in the mail, responded to job placement ads, or received emails asking them to deposit a cashier’s check into their account as part of a mystery shopping assignment. THIS IS A SCAM that Spies in Disguise is in no way associated with. If you have received this letter and check, please contact your post office or State Attorney General. DO NOT cash the check OR send the requested money via Western Union as requested in the letter. This scam has been previously done targeting other reputable mystery shopping companies in the past. We have not given permission or are in anyway associated with the criminals that have set this up.

See the following web page for more details on this scam:
http://www.occ.treas.gov/ftp/ADVISORY/2007-1.html

Other articles on this form of crime:
http://www.snopes.com/fraud/employment/shopper.asp

UPDATE 4/16/2012 –
Here is the most current version of the scam. Individuals are receiving unsolicited emails regarding an available job from Workopolis. THIS IS A SCAM and not from Spies in Disguise. DO NOT REPLY to this individual that is sending from an AOL address. Here is a copy of the fake email:
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Subject: Re: Job application from Workopolis.com for: MYSTERY SHOPPER

Dear Applicant ,

We got your resume on Workopolis for the position posted, and we thought you might be interested in this Part time job offer. Here’s your chance to Get paid for shopping and dinning out. You’ll be paid to shop and dine out-plus,you can also get free meals, Free merchandise, Free services, free Entertainment, Free travel . Great Pay. Fun Work. Flexible Schedules.No experience required.If you can shop-you are qualified!
Spies in Disguise is a company that conduct surveys and evaluate other companies, we get hired to go to other peoples companies and act like customers in order to know how the staffs are handling their services in relation to their customers, once we have a contract to do so, we direct our agent / secret shoppers to the company or outlet to carry out the evaluation, and you would be given the money you need to do the job (either purchase things or require services), after which you would write a comment on the staffs activities and give a detailed record of your experience.
Examples of details you would forward to us are
1) How long it took you to get services.
2) Smartness of the attendant
3)Customer service professionalism
4)Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they react to clients when they get tensed.
We then turn the information over to the company executives and they would carry out their own duties in improving there services. Most companies employ our assistance when people give complains about their services, or when they feel there are needs for them to improve their customer service. your Identity would be kept confidential as the job states (secrets shopper) you would be paid $300 for every duty you carry out, and bonus on your transportation allowance, and funds would be given to you if you have to dine as part of the duty.We currently have a contract to evaluate a local western outlet in your area, your first assignment will be to run a survey on this Western Union outlets within 6 miles of your area ( which will be disclose to you in our subsequent email as soon as you accept the responsibilities to carry out this assignment).
The Western union location was reported for evaluation for the following reasons.
I) Customers has file report for unprofessional customer service
ii) Slow services
iii) Unbalanced exchange rate
Iv) Poor services
v) Rudeness to customers
vi) Excess charge
vii) Late opening time and Closing before time.
Your Secret Evaluation would be

1) To make a transfer of fund from this western union location to our Mystery shopper and the funds would be picked up by our based mystery shopper at the other location. ( Note : the money you will be needing for this services will be provided in advance by our company before you carry out the assignment)
2) You would have to record your time of arrival, departure and how long it takes to get the transaction done.You would be sent funds in form of money orders which will cover your commission for the duty and the amount you will be sending at western union.
3) You will also provide me with the name of the cashier that attended to you, you will have to keep a comprehensive report on every activity that happens within the time you are carry out the transaction.
As soon as you reply back with your mailing address and information below, the funds you will be needing to carry out the assignment plus your commission, will be sent to you in form of Cashiers Check , the Western Union outlet address will be disclose to you, and also the Name and address of the other Mystery shoppers you will be sending the money to , will be provided .
If you are still interested in this job opportunity, reply this e mail with the follow information and your readiness to carry out this assignment.
FULL NAME …………………………….
MAILING ADDRESS (no P.O.Box please) …….
CITY…………………………………
PROVINCE……………………………………… …..
ZIP CODE………………………………………. …….
CELL PHONE……………………………………… …..
HOME PHONE……………………………………… …..
GENDER…………………………………….. ……..
MARITAL STATUS……………………………….
BEST TIME TO CALL……………………………..
PRESENT JOB STATUS/POSITION……..

As soon , as you get back to us with this information, then we can proceed to the next step.
Best Regards

Mr Sean Fogarty
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Sincerely,

Brian Brooks, President
Spies in Disguise, Inc.
1-800-592-2191