Have you recieved a check and letter like this one via Mail or Priority Mail?
Warning, this is a Scam.
Scammers are operating by pretending to be from legitimate companies such as NARMS, the MSPA or one of their member companies, and seeking shopper details by email, telephone and in this case, United States Postal Service Priority Mail.
LF Hill Merchandising Service and these legitimate companies neither advises shoppers to respond to any email requesting payment from them in advance of conducting assessments, nor to any requests that they cash checks and wire the funds to someone else.
Unfortunately, scammers sometimes use the names of legitimate companies such as NARMS, MSPA or the name of a member or other legitimate companies. Never click a link you are not sure is real. If there is any question, you should reach MSPA NARMS or any of their members only through their direct website.
Please be aware that
scammers are sending emails and letters which can include the MSPA, NARMS, or
member company’s logos, setting up sophisticated websites and even using a similar
website address as the legitimate company to add credibility to the scam.
This scam which was attempted on the owner of LF Hill
Merchandising Service is a perfect example. Customer 1st is a legitimate mystery
shopping company, and a charter member of the MSPA. Their company website address is http://customer-1st.com
The scammers hijacked their company logo and list on their phony document a website address of http://customers1stinc.com
. Clicking on
that link up until a few days ago when I started working with Law Enforcement to
shut down these scammers and protect legitimate companies and Job Seekers, took
you to a professional looking website which has now been removed.
NOTE: It is not the operating procedure of LF Hill
Merchandising Service or any other legitimate mystery shopping service provider to send
you a check prior to completing a mystery shopping assignment, even if a
purchase is required as a part of the assignment as is often the case.
You are required to make the required purchase using your own funds and submit a receipt
for reimbursement onece the assignment is completed. If you have any questions about a check received, contact the
company directly; don't just go to the website. Hackers are stealing the website
identities of companies and creating websites that look legitimate. A
little extra time in checking the validity will save you a lot of money in the
If you have already received checks from a scammer in the mail. Do not deposit the check!
You should report it immediately to the United States Postal Inspection Service
and hold onto any and all materials received for Postal Inspection Service or other Law enforcement agency.
It is important to note that the companies Customer 1st
and Troy Dolan Group
and their respective logos used on the document shown below, are legitimate Mystery Shopping companies and not part of but rather had their good names and reputations slandered as a result this fraud.
If you are here seeking a job as a merchandiser and/or Mystery Shopper, You can find legitimate links to the companies and or organizations mentioned here as well as other legitimate companies known to us in the Job Seekers section of our website.
such Mystery Shopper Scam currently known to the United States Postal
Inspection Service can be viewed by downloading the PDF file below. Alternately
this and other mail fraud scams can be viewed at the United
States Postal Inspection Service website
How to protect yourself:
- Don't open or respond to unsolicited e-mails asking you to become a mystery shopper or secret shopper.
- Never deposit a check you receive in the mail from a "mystery shopping" company. No legitimate business will pay in advance and ask you to send back a portion of the money.
- If you have posted your resume to an online job site, verify with the site any job solicitations you receive.
- Don't click on or respond to online ads or Web sites offering free gift cards.
- Remember, if it sounds too good to believe, it is!