June 10, 2013 - 12:39 PM
LAKE COUNTRY - It pays to be skeptical in this day and age.
It definitely paid off for a Lake Country woman who received a cheque in the mail for close to $4,000 and avoided becoming a fraud victim.
It was her advance payment as a "mystery shopper."
The letter that accompanied the unsolicited cheque explained how she could make an extra $450 to $550 a week. All she had to do was cash the cheque and wire about $3,000 to the sender using Money Gram or Western Union.
The cheque was counterfeit and the whole set up a scam, says RCMP spokesperson Const. Kris Clark.
"If the cheque was to be cashed and the money wired," he says. "The victim would be accountable to repay those funds and the scammer would be laughing all the way to the bank."
This is a classic example of the Mystery Shopper scam which is similar to Cheque Overpayment fraud.
"If you receive a cheque in the mail, or a significant overpayment for services rendered, and the sender asks for a large portion to be returned via a money wiring service, you can bet your bottom dollar that it's a scam," says Clark.
"Ask yourself, 'why did they send too much money?' or 'why am I paying other mystery shoppers?'"
For more information on frauds and scams, go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013