Attorney General Warns Consumers Of 'Secret Shopper' Scam

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Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned Arizona consumers about a new scam involving phony advertisements for employment as a "secret," "mystery" or "investigative" shopper.

In some instances, the scam works this way: When consumers contact the company about the position, they are told they can earn money by purchasing items at different stores or dining at different restaurants. The company then sends an employment packet. The packet includes business evaluation forms, a training assignment and a fake cashier's check, often ranging between $2,000 and $4,000.

The training assignment is to pose as a customer and wire money to a "relative." The consumer is told to cash the check and wire the money to an address in Canada. The check is phony and bounces after the consumer deposits the check into his or her personal account and wires the money, leaving the consumer liable for the fake check.

"Consumers need to know that a legitimate company will never send you a cashier's check out of the blue or require you to send money to someone you have never met," Goddard said.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact the Attorney General's Office by calling (800) 352-8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General's Office has 23 satellite offices throughout the state with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General's Web site. Consumers can also file complaints online at www.azag.gov.

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