Readers warned over mystery shopper scam

LOTHIAN AND BORDERS POLICE are urging the public to avoid a recent mystery shopper scam that featured in a local newspaper.

An advert appeared on June 2 asking for volunteers to trial the efficiency of Western Union money transfer staff in exchange for a commission.

The company running the ad send fake cheques registered from various countries around the world to the mystery shoppers’ addresses, which they then pay into their own bank account before wiring money from a Western Union outlet. In one instance, a man who agreed to participate wired money to south africa resulting in a four figure sum of money being lost from his account.

Officers are now warning against this scam and urge anyone who agreed to work as a mystery shopper for the company to contact police immediately.

A police spokesman said: “The cheques mystery shoppers receive are fraudulent and should not be transferred into your account.

“Anyone who proceeds with a money transfer may well find themselves severely out of pocket.

“People should remember that if an opportunity to make large sums of money seems to good to be true, it probably is and anyone who believes they have been a victim of this or similar scams should contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information can contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or the charity Crimestoppers in confidence and complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.