Watch Out for Secret Shoppers Scam

Consumers have lost up to $2600 to Canadian firm.

The Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to a Canadian company that is targeting residents in Alabama and other states as part of a ?secret shoppers? scam.

The company, Secret Shoppers, seeks workers through advertisements. Consumers responding to the company?s advertisement have reported receiving a package, which includes a check that has ranged in the amounts of $974 to $2600.

The consumer is instructed to submit a probationary assignment and then take the money to Wal-Mart and through MoneyGram, send funds to a made up name in a Canadian City. The consumer is then to fill out a worksheet indicating their experience with delivery through MoneyGram.

The BBB warns to use extreme caution if a company provides you with a check to cover the costs of any administration fees, taxes, etc. and asks you to cash the check and wire the money to their representative.

While your bank may find initially that the check appears legitimate, the BBB said experience shows that weeks later, after the funds have been transferred to the consumer, the check is found to be fraudulent or written on a stolen account and the consumer is left owing the money back to the bank. if you have been contacted by this firm, please contact the BBB in your area. If you have sent this firm a money transfer, contact PhoneBusters in Canada at (888) 495-8501.

The company has been reported to do business under other names, some of which are duplicates of legitimate businesses operating in the United States. Those names include Beach Hepburn, Fifth Third Bank Co., Fifth Third Bank Kentucky Inc., Landmark Bank, Plant World and Secret Shoppers Canada Inc.