A Very Real Scam … Foisted onto a Local Senior (originally posted by berks lancaster lebanon link)

February 11, 2016

https://berkslancasterlebanonlink.org/2016/02/11/a-very-real-scam-foisted-onto-a-local-senior/

By berkslancasterlebanonlink on

check looks real

 

Old people with money. Scam artists relentlessly prey on them. Why are the elderly more susceptible and more likely to become victims of a scam? The elderly are vulnerable to scams because they tend to be too trusting, gullible, live alone and don’t have someone watching over their finances. Loneliness also plays a role. Elders are often grateful to have someone to talk to – not suspecting that the “nice man” on the phone may be preying on them.” – AgingCare

 

We’re taking a page from Joe Friday here when we say, “The story you are about to read is real, only the name and address has been removed to protect the innocent.”

A local senior citizen, innocently and unwittingly, responded to offer about a mystery shopper opportunity.

Here’s the beginning of this actual scam / phishing attempt.

 

AN EMAIL –

On Feb 8, 2016 11:43 AM, “david walter” <dw0299868@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Shopper,

How are you doing today and how has your week been? I will like to inform you of your first assignment which you are to receive in the mail today.

The payment processing department  has mailed out a check via USPS for you to carry out your first assignment and it is to be delivered today. This is regarding the

On-line Survey/Evaluation you got few days ago.

IF THIS LOOKS LIKE A SURPRISE PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL (INBOX AND BULK/SPAM FOLDERS ESPECIALLY) BEFORE READING FURTHER.

The payment you will receive has been issued in your Name as a secret shopper.

Its a check of $1,998,00

1ST ASSIGNMENT:

Assignment (A) Wal-Mart Evaluation:

Assignment (B) money gram Evaluation:

INSTRUCTIONS:

You will be getting a check payment totalling $1.998.00 These funds are to be used for your assignment. The Expenditure Breakdown is listed below. You are instructed to deposit/cash the payment at your Bank for record purposes and then go ahead with the Evaluations. The payment you received covers all expenditures including   evaluation, shopping and your compensation (Assignment remuneration $200.00) for the surveys.

During your Mystery Shopping experience, you will purchase items that you would normally use in your home. These purchases are yours to keep and they should not exceed the amount outlined below. You will also be using moneygram services to send the balance to another Mystery shopper to complete the assignment in full.  You want to inquire what the differences are between Local transfers and International transfers and provide their responses in your report.

****************************** ****************************** ****

REPORTS REQUIRES GUIDELINES

(1)-How long did you wait for a Customer Service Agent?

(2)-What was the overall appearance of the store, inside and out?

(3)-Knowledge of the Customer Service Agent helping you?

(4)-Overall professionalism of the cashier’s

(5)-Reaction of personnel under pressure

(6)-Conditions of the Restrooms (Wal-Mart only)

(7)-Your comments and impressions.

****************************** ****************************** ***

BELOW IS THE EXPENDITURE BREAKDOWN:-

Money Received ………………..$1998.00

Assignment Salary…………….. $200.00

Wal-Mart ……………………..$30. 00

Money gram transfer Charges…….. $30.00

Money gram……………………. $869,00

Ensure that money is sent using the (MONEY AVAILABLE IN MINUTES)

****************************** ****************************** ***

As a Mystery Shopper your job is to observe anything useful going on in the location that you are there to observe. Remember that you are a “Mystery Shopper”; this means that you do not let anyone know what you are doing. Make sure you observe everything that you see. You do not want to take your paperwork inside the store.  Make sure to remember what you have observed so you can make the necessary notes when you get to your car.  So then you would go ahead and make a money gram money transfer to another mystery shopper for another assignment.We want you to deduct your payment of $200.00 and have the remaining funds sent to the information below for proper preparation of our next Mystery  Shopper. (Minus the  money gram fee $20 and also the $30.00 for whatever you will be buying at Wal-Mart)

****************************** ****************************** ***

You are to send the funds to two different shopper, you are advise to have the funds send in different location

TRANSFER THE REST OF THE FUNDS ($869.00 in two)

MONEY TRANSFER TO THE BELOW INFORMATION:

Receiver’s Name: WANDA KING……..$869,00

Address:  411 Elm St

City:   ATLANTA

State:  GEORGIA

ZIP CODE: 30080

RECEIVER’S NAME: : HEATHER SMITH……..$869,00

ADDRESS. 11523 SW 126th

CITY: ATLANTA,

STATE:  GEORGIA

ZIP CODE.30008

REFERENCE#……………….?

AMOUNT………………?

REQUIRED INFORMATION AFTER TRANSFER IS COMPLETED VIA MONEY GRAM:-

  1. Senders Name and Sender Address:
  2. 8 Digits Money gram Transfer reference Number for both shopper.

Sincerely,

David Walter.

MYSTERY SHOPPER EVALUATION TEAM

David Walter

 

In a few days, the check arrived, delivered into the recipient’s mailbox. Here’s a scan of the envelope:

envelope looks authentic.jpg

 

That’s when the recipient showed the check and the envelope to us.

 

BE ASSURED – THIS IS A SCAM. Read this Federal Trade Commission article: “Beware of mystery shopper scams.”

 

Originally posted by:

https://berkslancasterlebanonlink.org/2016/02/11/a-very-real-scam-foisted-onto-a-local-senior/

 

 

From Kathy Spence at PA HOME CARE of Lancaster:

PLEASE – Don’t fall prey to these unscrupulous thieves.  Remember the old adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t”?  Take those words to heart.

*  Don’t open emails from people you don’t know.

*  Don’t accept checks or promises of money from people you don’t know.

*  Don’t be fooled by mail, email, or phone calls FROM institutions that you recognize, but have no idea why they would be contacting you.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify”.  You don’t need to have a jaded, negative view of the world, just a wary one.  If you have questions, find someone you trust and explain the situation to them.  Help and advice is available, but NOT AFTER you have become a victim.  These thieves are almost impossible to track down and even more impossible to recoup your losses from…don’t be their victim in the first place.

Kathy Spence, Co-Owner

PA HOME CARE of Lancaster

2703 Willow Street Pike, North

Willow Street, PA 17584

(717) 464-2006

PAHC@PA-HomeCare.com

 

 

 

 

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