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A Comprehensive Look at Fraud Identification and Prevention by James R. Youngblood

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293
Appendix C: Work-
at- Home, Mystery
Shopping, Inheritance,
and Lottery Schemes
Appendix C consists of actual unsolicited e- mails sent in an attempt to gener-
ate work- at- home, mystery shopping, inheritance, lottery schemes, and phishing
e- mail scams. No changes were made to the e- mails as far as the From, To, and
Subject lines. ese lines are posted exactly as received. No changes were made to
the actual e- mails regarding the written wording. Poor spelling and grammar issues
are common in many advance fee fraud letters and are a warning sign of potential
fraud. All of the examples provided were received in 2014.
EXAMPLE C.1
is example is an actual unsolicited e- mail received from a person claiming to
represent a legitimate mystery shopping company. e actual mystery shopping
company name and business address used in the e- mail are legitimate, but the
contact name provided in the e- mail is not a legitimate employee of the orga-
nization. Individuals committing mystery shopping frauds will hijack the trade
name of a legitimate mystery shopping company to add credibility to their work-
at- home offer.
SUBJECT: Become a Mystery Shopper Today
We have a mystery shopping assignment in your area and we would like you to
participate.
Mystery Shopper is accepting applications for qualified individuals to become
mystery shoppers. It’s fun and rewarding, and you choose when and where you
want to shop.
You are never obligated to accept an assignment. ere is no charge to become
a shopper and you do not need previous experience.
294Appendix C
Mystery Shopper NEVER charge fees to become a shopper, mystery shoppers
are paid a prearranged fee for a particular shop, We have available for immediate
assignment an inspection of the customer service of any Western Union in your
area. is fee will be paid upfront. During this shop you will visit the location and
make several observations as regards the customer service. You will be required to
interact with the shop clerk. You may conduct the shop alone or as a couple.
e assignment will pay $170.00/assignment.
Kindly Fill Out the application form below and we will get back to you shortly
with the assignment.
You can also send the below required information as plain text email.
PERSONAL INFORMATION:
First Name..
Middle Name..
Last Name..
Street Address(Not PO Box)..
City, State, Zip Code..
Cell Phone Number..
Home Phone Number..
Age..
Current Occupation..
Alternate Email Address..
AVAILABILITY: Days/ Hours Available
Monday.
Tuesday.
Wednesday.
ursday.
Friday.
Saturday.
Sunday.
Hours Available:
We await your urgent response.
ank you for your help. We look forward to working with you.
Sincerely,
Timothy White.
####### ########, Inc.
PO Box ##### Knoxville, TN 37950
EXAMPLE C.2
Example C.2 is an unsolicited notification that offers mystery shopping employ-
ment opportunities. e individuals involved in this scam took the name of an
actual mystery shopping organization in an attempt to add legitimacy to the offer.
Recipients should be alerted to the ® added on the From line and the e- mail address
Appendix C295
of the sender. A legitimate US organization would not have an .edu domain name.
e .edu domain is intended for educational organizations.
From: Mystery Shopper Inc® <svasikarla@csun.edu>
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
Subject: Employment Opportunity
Dear Shopper,
Please click here to read about job description
www.Secretshopper.com
Regards,
© Secret Shopper Inc
EXAMPLE C.3
e unsolicited e- mail shown in Figure C.1 provides the recipient with a success
story of a single mother who has made large amounts of money in a work- at-
home job. e sender uses flashy pictures and the names of some prominent news
organizations in an attempt to add validity to the offer. e main focus of this
work- at- home offer is to have the job seekers pay to go through a work- at- home
certification program that will authorize them to be a certified online worker.
Figure C.1 Unsolicited e-mail promises high paying work-at-home jobs.

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