Mystery shopping scam still alive and spreading
With so many Canadians looking for work, it's not surprising scam artists are targeting people desperate to earn money through part-time work, such as mystery shopping.
The pitch starts out sounding legitimate, particularly to someone who's already struggling and may not be thinking that straight.
You answer an email or Kijiji post looking for part-time work. The scammer tells you that they're looking for mystery shoppers who can shop on their own time and earn a fee at the same time.
To get the ball rolling, the company will send you a cheque for as much as $4,000 to buy the items you need to purchase to appropriately rate the retail outlet, most likely a bank or payday loan service.
The con artist's excuse for sending so much money is that they want you to take your fee out of the cheque. They then want you to wire the balance back to them so they can monitor things from their end.
They even suggest you wait until the cheque clears to send them the money. That gives unsure buyers the mistaken impression that by waiting a few days they'll be in the clear.
Except that's not the way things work.
If the cheque is bogus (and it will be), you're going to be on the hook for the money, even if the scam takes weeks at unfold. Which is what happened to one unsuspecting Ottawa woman who now owes the Royal Bank of Canada $3,975.
To view another variation of this scam, click here.
Posted by: Really !! | Feb 4, 2022 8:47:21 PM
Not necessarily sympathetic to the Ottawa woman who got conned for being less than intelligent however, you'd think RBC would give the woman a break, especially if her story is true about the RCB employee telling her the counterfeit cheque had cleared. AND especially since the RBC CEO earned $12.6 million in 2012, marking a raise from $10.1 million in 2011, according to the bank's annual disclosure released Monday. Good ol' RBC, screwing its customers again and again. Got rid of them in 1995 and I've been happy with TD since that time.
Posted by: Catherine Tapner | Feb 5, 2022 1:22:16 AM
yep happened to a freind of my daughters, just a young mother with a baby. She too was on the hook for this, the bank is holding her responsible. They too told her the cheque had cleared. Go figure.
Posted by: fanpyre | Feb 5, 2022 7:43:42 AM
In Canada scamsters are well protected. This is not the only which is doing scam business under the nose of Government, there are so many so called scam companies operating in GTA. Government is just busy in finding the ways to tax general public and like to squeeze as much as possible. This is the duty of the Government to find out these scamster and punsh them. I am sure some underhand moneyis being transferred to the officials who are responsible to find out these economic offenders.
Posted by: Cal | Feb 6, 2022 4:29:18 PM
To the commentors above, why should the bank give people a break when they get scammed? It's not the bank's fault. How much money the CEO makes is totally irrelevant.The CEO didn't force the Ottawa women to take up on this scam. The fact that the cheque initially cleared is also irrelevent. People need to take responsibility for their own actions, not expect someone or a corporation with deep pockets to.
Posted by: Brenda Mason | Feb 7, 2022 4:15:49 AM
Three years ago this happened to my friend. He is a kidney patient, who was looking for part-time home jobs. He found one. The CIBC, said the chq. cleared, he even waited 8 days. He slowly repays the debt to this day, on his disability pension. I think the bank needs to pay half, otherwise keep their profits to them selves.
Posted by: MumWhoChose | Feb 7, 2022 5:25:33 PM
to "cal". it wasn't a LOAN. They were victims (albeit foolish - to a point) of a crime.
Any other victim of crime would have the other person charged, and the proceeds would have been the instigator's responsibility to pay the banks the money they'd lent out.
If the banks are aware that this is happening, perhaps they should be holding the cheques longer - just to be sure.
We all know the adage of P.T. Barnum's... but lets stop blaming those who ARE victimized here.
Posted by: Graeme | Feb 11, 2022 11:00:13 AM
Everyone "should" know that a cheque you are unsure about ??? you must usually wait 30 days and when and if deemed cleared you always get it in writing and signed by a branch manager or a person with status for responsibility. Not knowing the proper procedure and precautions is the individuals responsibility to ask and learn....I had to the hard way!