Watch out for secret shopper scam

Published On: Oct 22 2012 01:29:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 22 2012 05:38:06 PM CDT

Oct. 22, 2012: How many times have you seen those e-mails promising a lucrative job as a secret shopper? It sounds like a pretty good gig, but is the offer legit or too good to be true? Amy Davis reports.

HOUSTON -

How many times have you seen those e-mails promising a lucrative job as a secret shopper? It sounds like a pretty good gig, but is the offer legit or too good to be true?

KPRC Local 2 Consumer Expert Amy Davis has a scam alert.

Amorita Hudson of Northwest Houston got an offer in her e-mail inbox. She had a legitimate mystery shopper job in the past, so she decided to give this one a try.

Her first assignment involved a money order from the postal service.

"I was supposed to take that to my bank and cash that, and while I was in the bank I was to rate the cashier on how she handled the transaction," Hudson said.

Hudson was then supposed to take a $150 commission and send the rest to someone via Western Union.

"I did exactly what they told me to do," she told Local 2.

She got a second and third assignment, all to do the exact same thing with more money orders for even more money.

"I'm thinking in my mind that this has cleared and in the e-mail, it indicated the money is available immediately. Well if it's a U.S. Postal Service money order, the money is supposed to be there," she explained.

It turned out that the money orders were fakes. Hudson is now out more than $6,600 and banking laws don't protect her or anyone else in this case.

The Better Business Bureau says few people can really make money as a mystery shopper and warns if you receive any kind of check or money order in the mail, just throw it away.

"I feel like an idiot because I fell for something like this but I also feel that I have to tell someone so that this doesn't happen to somebody else and that's important to me," Hudson said.

Hudson filed a complaint with the Postmaster General and that agency is checking it out.

If you want to check out a specific mystery shopping offer, visit the better business bureau website http://houston.bbb.org/.

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