“Phishing” at its finest. Not.

As I was checking my emails today, I opened an email from “Karen Mullins” with a subject line “Mystery Shoppers Needed”. I knew it was spam with a “phishing” attempt, but for some reason the email was not filtered as spam. No spam filtering system is perfect; therefore, I am not going to dwell on that.

In the very near past, I have seen “mystery shopping” work-at-home scams promising all kinds of fortunes. For a fee, of course, only to provide the hopeful buyers with some useless information or allow access to other websites and resources, which are freely available on the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association website.

The email I opened today was different. What is wrong with this picture? See for yourself.

Click on the Image

You do not see an email address in the image, but it comes from a gmail account.

The grammar and the sentence structure are questionable. I am not a genius and do not have the best command of the English language, but I am smart enough to see that the person who wrote that email does not belong to a professional organization.

The statements made in the email are ambiguous and contradictory.

The sender guarantees $200 per each assignment plus expense reimbursement.

The sender requests information such as the name, address, phone numbers, age, current occupation, gender and an email address. The sender also “implores” you to send scanned copies of any of your identification. Right… (I am making a pause here for a dramatic effect). Ms. Mullins, would you like my Social Security Number with that?

And then, the sender provides an address at the end, as if it is supposed to make me feel more confident that the business is legitimate. Upon further investigation, the address 3292 Thompson Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506 belongs to a legitimate business called “The Shipping Depot”, which has nothing to do with mystery shopping.

Mystery shopping is a legitimate opportunity, which allows people to make some money, but I have not seen any one who became rich doing that. There is no way a legitimate mystery shopping company will guarantee $200 per assignment plus expense reimbursement, because every assignment is different.

The fraudsters become more aggressive during the holiday season, so be careful and pay attention to the warning signs. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Phishing scams exist because they are profitable and have a pretty high success rate.

The main image for the article is provided bySalvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author

Lana is a real life Identity Theft Victim. Identity Theft Manifesto is a result of her own struggles to clear her credit, her name and reputation. She is on the mission to research, learn more and educate her readers about ID Theft Crime.