Mystery Shoppers/Shoppers Confidential Inc. / Defrauded of $4,964

1 Review updated:

I received a letter from Mystery Shopping Inc., 105 Central Avenue, Suite 601, Maddock, NC 58348, on Monday, November 10, 2008. A cashier's check in the amount of $4, 964 was enclosed. The letter explained the details of secret shopper-type employment which I had heard of in the past but never pursued. The letter requested that I call the sender for more information about the program. Since the letter indicated that I would make $250 on a weekly basis, I was excited (but suspicious) about checking out the opportunity.

I called as instructed [protected]) and spoke with Sarah. She explained the process to me and I complied as follows:

1. Deposit the $4, 964 check into our checking account. If it takes longer than 24 hours to clear, I must call back because the cashier's check will only be good for 24 hours. I deposited the check on Tuesday, November 11 (Veterans Day) and told byTD Bank that the money would be available on Thursday. Bill called Sarah back with the information.

2. Once the check cleared on Thursday, November 13, I called Sarah again, as instructed. She told me to fulfill the assignment set forth in the letter as soon as possible, the same day would be best. Sarah said that the Western Union and MoneyGram parts of the assignment could be combined into one MoneyGram. She also said it would be easier because MoneyGram is located right inside Walmart and Walmart was part of the assignment anyway. The same day, I withdrew $4, 600 from TD Bank to fulfill the MoneyGram obligation of the assignment. I didn't want to use my debit card in case there was some way the money could be traced to it through the MoneyGram. As soon as the MoneyGram was accomplished, I called Sarah and left the item number as I was also instructed.

3. That same evening, I bought $50 worth of items from Walmart and $40 worth of items from the Gap as instructed in the letter.

4. The following morning, I completed the forms thate were enclossed with the letter; specifically, I filled out a form for each cashier I worked with the previous evening (the Gap, Walmart, and MoneyGram)) and described the type of service I had received from each.

5. After I c0mpleted the forms, I faxed them along with all receipts to the same phone number above.

6. By Saturday, November 15, the $4, 964 check in our TD Bank account was returned for insufficient funds. My account was overdrrawn by $3, 550 and I had nothing left. I had been scammed.

I was shocked. I thought the check had already cleared my account that previous Thursday. I called TD Bank right away. They told me that the check had not actually cleared on Thursday--that they made the money available to me as a courtesy. They put a block on my account, and I was instructed to go to the branch the following morning, Sunday, to see whay they could do.

The next morning I went to TD Bank as suggested. I sat with Christine who was very helpful but not very hopeful. She contacted the Loss Prevention department who I was told would call us Monday, November 17.

I called MoneyGram on November 19 who told me the money was picked up at Walmart in Scarborough (Toronto), Ontario, on Friday, November 14.

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  • Ma
      Jul 22, 2009

    Wow thats rough!! I just recieved an email from the same people as I submitted a resume to them. They where listed on a job board...They sent me an email asking me to confirm which stores where available in my town. So I did and This is the email I got back from them. I AM SO GLAD YOU POSTED WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU!!! I FEEL SO BAD THAT THERE ARE DISHONEST PEOPLE LIKE THIS OUT THERE...THIS IS THE EMAIL...

    Hello, :-)! Its good to hear from you! The work does not demand much as we informed you earlier; all you have todo is to validate the list of shops and restaurants that we sent you andtell us which ones are available in your area so you will be informed ofyour next assignment which you did. It does not demand any interview, so far as you can shop and dineprofessionally, you are qualified! Furthermore, all expenses will be taken care of;you should just takenotice of how customers were treated by the various attendants indifferent places you go to. You should be able to give a full detailedobservation as a concerned discrete customer. A job evaluation form will be e-mailed to you; a check made out in yourname will be sent to you or a bank transfer will be made to you alongsideyour weekly salary and money for expenses; or will you prefer to be paidmonthly? You might have to provide a Royal Bank of Canada account if bank transferis the best option for you; which we also think is faster. You will receive your first assignment and instruction by next week. Youmight also be required to handle extra company funds which part will beused by you for expenses aside from your weekly salary. You will be giveninstructions on how to disburse the extra funds if needs be. Furthermore, we need agility, honesty, ability to check your email every2-3 hours and keeping your contact phone number open and with you alwaysfor faster and better communication. PLEASE, IN YOUR NEXT REPLY RECONFIRM YOUR AGE! Best regards, -- Alice ClintonPersonnel ManagerPhone:(+[protected](+1) 347 410 [protected]

    0 Votes
  • Co
      Jul 27, 2009

    I just got the same thing but with mine attached was a cheque
    I have called around and if anyone knows of a place where we can check on it to see if it is real please let us know as I have tried and cant find the information (even tried local authorities and the bank itself wont give me any info because of privacy act)

    0 Votes
  • Co
      Jul 27, 2009


    0 Votes
  • Ca
      Jul 19, 2010

    I received a check after a few weeks and was told to use moneygram to wire money to someone in Jackson Tennessee. 4100 dollars worth. I am trying to find out who to pass along all the info I have researched regarding these people. My email was from an Alice Hamilton. It wasnt a very professional looking one like you would expect from a reputable company. I will keep searching and try to find out more and am wondering if I give the info to my local law enforcement or Ontarios since both people claim to be from there as well as the check.

    0 Votes
  • Ju
      Apr 10, 2011

    Shoppers Confidential Inc. ( is a legitimate mystery shopping company located in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. After hearing about this scam, and the illegal use of our company name, we have done everything in our power to assist various local police authorities, The BBB, and Phonebusters. Shoppers Confidential NEVER mails checks to shoppers, and only pays via Paypal or direct deposit. We also do not solicit new mystery shoppers via mail.

    Questions? Please contact Julie at [protected] or toll free [protected].

    +2 Votes
  • Ju
      Aug 29, 2014

    My name is Julie Anthony and I own the a mystery shopping company called Shoppers Confidential, we're based in Kitchener, ON Canada. Unfortunately this is not the first time a scam has appeared under my company name and it not only happens to me, it happens to many companies.
    When researching legitimate mystery shopping companies, make sure all the information checks out. First, visit and make sure the company names checks out and make sure the phone numbers, office address(s) and names of employee's are correct. These scammers use legitimate company names, but the rest of the info is not correct. Ie: the address is wrong, it's the wrong area code on the phone number, based on the city, they state they are located in. All of this call be verified in a quick Google search.
    Lastly, mystery shopping companies do not mail checks! No legitimate company is going to mail you a check before work is done. AND they certainly won't ask you transfer money back to them.
    The signs are all there. Use your head. Think before you act.


    +3 Votes
  • So
      Nov 04, 2015

    Julie is Right, speaking of Shoppers Confidential, I never had any issues with the company being a shopper.Most of the mystery shopping companies do their work online and payments are directly deposited to PayPal accounts.Most of the work from both ends is carried out online for the convenience of the shoppers as most people choose this as their part time job and don't want to waste a lot of time running around banks to deposit the cheques.
    Verifying the company name and it's credibility is unto the shopper and the research what he/she does.

    +1 Votes
  • Ju
      Dec 21, 2015

    Yes Julie IS right.

    +1 Votes

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