An authentic-looking check and letter asking you to be a secret shopper... are parts of no ordinary scam.
The crooks running this scheme have done their homework. They not only have set up a flashy looking, fraudulent website, but a slick answering service that makes you think you're talking to the bank which issued the check.
But it's all fake and cops here can't investigate.
That's because the bad guys are working in a town near Toronto, Canada, outside our police department's jurisdiction.
Jeremy Pospisil didn't get burned, but he was tempted.
He says, "There's actually legitimate businesses that do that, but unfortunately this one's a scam."
The offer sounds great... getting paid 300 dollars to go shopping and then being able to buy 50 dollars worth of merchandise at Wal-Mart and spend 40 bucks at the Gap.
Your secret shopper duties also require you to wire thousands of dollars via Western Union and Money Gram. The only requirement... filling out this evaluation... rating your service at the money transfer companies and the stores.
The check you're given to do all of this with... close to five thousand dollars... looks legit... but the real bank says it's not.
Pospisil adds, "I'm glad I checked. I'm glad I called because I would've been out that much money."
An officer with the real bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota tells me she's heard from hundreds of people in the last few weeks.
In fact, more than 250-thousand dollars worth of checks have come in to be cashed... only to be returned... burning those victims who've already foolishly used the funds.
Just remember anytime Canada is involved and you're given a check and asked to wire back funds... it's a scam, period.
And now that times are tight, more and more of these will show up in your mailbox.