Such a deal!!

I received a check in the mail the other day for $3,900. It is a real check, not one of those “certificates” that look like a check and tell you what you “could” save or anything like that. This is a real check and it isn’t a tax refund. It is from Public Interest Research Group and is money for me to be a mystery shopper.

The deal is simple, I’m to contact the company, then cash the check, then do some shopping and finally submit my report. The check breaks down like this:

Salary and training: $300
Wal-Mart purchase: $100
1st Money Gram transfer: $1,650
2nd Money Gram transfer: $1,650
Money Gram service charge: $200

So I cash the check. I keep $300 as a salary. Then I go to Wal-Mart and spend $100 of the money from the check on purchases, which I get to keep. After I’ve contacted the company, they give me contact information on who to wire money to. I wire the money and write a report on the transactions. I get to keep $300 cash and $100 worth of stuff from Wal-mart. Sounds great huh?

Yea, too great. The check is sitting next to me, never to be cashed. I talked to my girls about this. What’s wrong with this deal? They thought the check was a fake. I pointed out everything that indicated the check was real. Then I explained to them that if I were to cash the check, it would bounce. See, I cash the check and then I’m on the line for the money. But the company has me wire $2,500 away before the check bounces. They get the money I wired and I’m left having to cover the bad check with my savings.

Pretty slick, huh? Yea, the check is signed by “Don Smooth” the “Director of Operation”. No kidding, he’s a smooth operator alright! I also pointed out to the girls that the check was mailed from Canada, the address on the letter is in New York and the address on the check is in Texas. I wanted them to see that scams like this attempt to dazzle you with a check for an impressive amount of money. Hopefully you won’t think about it too much about how the deal is too good to be true.

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