Friday, August 08, 2014

Nanaimo Woman Scammed - 'Secret Shopper'

Nanaimo woman losing $2000 in the secret shopper scam

The warning signs were obvious, it screamed Fraud but unfortunately it didn’t stop a Nanaimo woman from falling for the Secret Shopper/ Over payment Scam, and in the process, losing almost $2000.

Two weeks ago, the young adult was perusing Kijii, when she came across and ad looking for secret shoppers in Nanaimo. The money was fantastic, hours of work minimal and only cost $300 dollars. She was asked for and provided her home address, email and cell phone number. The very next day she received a cheque in the mail for almost $1000. Her luck had finally changed! She quickly deposited the cheque into her bank account. She was then told by text and email to take $300 for pay, keep some to cover the cost of items purchased, and send the remainder back to an address in Colorado, with no explanation given. The next day she proceeded to a north end store as instructed, completed her task in 30 minutes and filed her report.

The next day she contacted the company to let them know she was no longer interested in working for them. She was directed to the Canada Post kiosk at Shoppers Drug Mart located at University Heights mall and wired the remaining money.

Over the course of the next few days, she was contacted a number of times and told to send more money to Nigeria for an individual needing emergency surgery. She sent the money. The next day she received a cheque for $350, then another for $1000. She was told to keep a portion and to send the remainder to Nigeria. She did as asked. Only then did she think something was wrong. That same day she was advised by her bank, the cheques were fraudulent and were written on a non-existent bank account.

This scam has been around for a number of years. The warning signs were there but for a variety of reasons, people often choose to ignore them. If it is too good to be true, it is, said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

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