Make a quick $250, hardly! (Betty Sexton)

Thanks to Christine for telling me about this scam. She received a check in the mail from a group using the name American Consumer Opinion. It wasn't the legitimate Texas research company... just a crook looking to rip her off!

 Christine was asked to help evaluate the use of Western Union. She was told to cash the check she had received and wire $1,700 abroad. Her reward was keeping $250. She knew the check was fraudulent and would eventually cost her if she did as instructed.

Just remember never wire money to a stranger because it's just like sending cash. Crooks get their hands on the money right away and you can't get back.

The transfer can't be traced nor reversed. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission says money wired out of the U.S. can be picked up at multiple locations. That makes it nearly impossible to track down.

Also, the FTC says in some cases those who work for the money transfer company are in on the scheme. Between 2004 and 2008 crooks who work for one such company cost American consumer more than $84-million.

So don't lose your money, be smart and throw such garbage where it belongs... in the trash.

As a footnote, Cristi Allen with American Consumer Opinion tells me their membership is free and they never charge people to answer surveys or to become a myster shopper.  She says a fraudulent company is using their name and they've yet to catch those behind it. 


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