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 May 30th, 2013  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara warns: Don't fall for the "Mystery Shopper" scam
 
If you are participating in a "mystery shopper" program that purports to pay you and asks you to pay another individual, don't do it, warns St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"No legitimate 'secret shopper' program asks you to send someone else any money," Sheriff Mascara said. "If this happens to you, don't deposit the check in your account, and don't send payment to another individual. Instead, call 9-1-1, and we'll send a deputy."

The Sheriff said people can get pulled into a secret shopper scam through printed or internet advertising or by receiving an e-mail message. "We have seen this scam popping up in St. Lucie County," the Sheriff said.

If you receive a check from anyone who asks you to deposit the check and then send money to someone else, chances are you're being scammed. The check you receive will probably be no good, and the bank will make you responsible for that bad check, said the Sheriff.

"That's why you should call law enforcement and not deposit the check," said Sheriff Mascara. "No legitimate company will pay you and ask you to pay someone else as part of a mystery shopper program or for any other reason."

If you believe you are being asked to participate in a fraudulent mystery shopper program, or any program in which you are paid money and asked to pay someone else, call 9-1-1 instead, the Sheriff said.

People can learn more about these scams from the United States Federal Trade Commission at this internet address:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0053-mystery-shopper-scams#

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