Mystery shopper scam tricks Yukoners into depositing fraudulent cheques
Texts offer jobs for mystery shoppers, victims deposited fraudulent cheques in bank accounts
The RCMP say Yukoners have been victimized by a new wave of fraud — text messages offering jobs for mystery shoppers.
Whitehorse RCMP are investigating after victims reported that they had applied for the jobs after receiving a text message with the offer.
According to a news release, soon after, the victims received a letter in the mail with a cheque for $2,980 and instructions to deposit the cheque into their bank account, and then withdraw $2,480 in cash.
They were then instructed to deposit the $2,480 into a separate account at another bank.
The detailed instructions continued, telling the victims to spend $100 at a store like Walmart, allowing them to keep the final $400 as payment.
The victims then filled out a "Mystery Shopper Report Sheet," according to the RCMP, "detailing the quality of their experience at the bank and the store."
Jig is up
At some point, the victims received calls from their banks, informing them that the cheque they deposited was fraudulent and that they had to pay the money back.
"Leaving the victim out a few thousand dollars," the news release said.
"A legitimate employer will never send funds and request a portion of those funds back. And always beware of unsolicited text messages or emails offering employment."
The RCMP says if people feel they've been targeted, they should call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
If anyone believes they've been a victim of the scam, they can call Whitehorse RCMP at 867-667-5555.