The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) in Corner Brook is advising the public of a mystery shopper scam in the city.
On Sunday, a resident reported that they had fallen victim to such a scam.
The RNC says it has received similar complaints in the past and are investigating this latest incident involving the complainant having received a letter in the mail stating they have been selected to be a “mystery shopper.”
The letter says they will be paid a small fee for every business they are asked to evaluate. Also included in the letter is a cheque made out in the name of the complainant usually $4,000 to $5,000.
The complainant is directed in the letter to call a listed phone number for directions.
When they call the phone number they are told to cash the cheque at their own bank and then to evaluate several businesses by using the money from the cashed cheque to purchase products from the named businesses.
Two of the businesses they are always asked to evaluate is MoneyGram and Western Union. They are directed to send a cash amount of usually $1,000 to $2,000 through MoneyGram and Western Union to names and addresses of persons in the United States and then evaluate the service provided by these businesses. The complainant sends the money only to find out later that the cheque they cashed was worthless and they owe the bank all the money they received from this cheque.
The RNC in Corner Brook urges the public to be cautious of cashing cheques they receive in the mail from people they don't know.
Anyone with information regarding this scam is asked to contact the RNC at 709-637-4100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
People can also provide information anonymously on the N.L. Crime Stoppers Website at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.