Mystery Shopper Scam, Barber and Haskill

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 10th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Shopping

Barber and Haskill are not the scammers, I do not know who started this scam, but want to warn others about it so nobody falls for it, or similar types of scams.

A Mystery Shopping Request

Months ago I signed up online to be a mystery shopper, I am only guessing this is how the scam artists got my contact information.

I received a letter in the mail yesterday a long with a check for $3,790.00. I was puzzled.

I read the letter, which said it came from Barber & Haskill in Ontario, Canada. The letter was offering me a mystery shopper job, which included sending two Western Union money gram transfers to people in New York.

It said I must deposit the check into my bank account, then withdraw the money to make the Western Union payments.

More about the Barber and Haskill Scam

The letter explained that I could keep $300 for myself, and the rest was for the money transfers and fees.

The letter did have a phone number on it, and everything looked legitimate, but of course seemed "too good to be true". So this morning I went online and checked out the Barber & Haskill website, they are a furniture store. The phone number listed on the website was different than those on the letter, so I gave them a call (at the phone number from the website).

Indeed it is a scam. Somehow somebody got a hold of one of their checks and photocopied it, it even had the owners signature on it, but the company themselves did not actually issue the checks, so if cashed, and money sent, I would be on the hook for it basically.

Folks, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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Tags

Barber, Canada, Check, Haskill, Legit, Money, Mystery Shopper, Scam, Western Union

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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Comments

author avatar C.D. Moore
10th May 2013 (#)

Amazing story! A friend of mine is a mystery shopper I'll have to tell her about this one.

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author avatar Mariah
10th May 2013 (#)

My God do we need to have our wits about us in this day and age. shocking!

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author avatar Retired
10th May 2013 (#)

Whoa...that's nuts. Thanks for sharing this, Mark. Very informative. ;)

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author avatar Suzanne F
10th May 2013 (#)

I got the very same letter. I am reporting it and throwing it out!

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
10th May 2013 (#)

It is incredible how many folks fall for this and other 'easy money' scams....Apparently, Mr.PT Barnum hit the nail on the head.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
11th May 2013 (#)

how norty!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
11th May 2013 (#)

Pretty standard scam, Mark. I get two or three every day. Each one a little different but the same basic scam.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
11th May 2013 (#)

I get many e-mail scams but this was the first that came to my mail box, the check looked legit too.

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author avatar Songbird B
11th May 2013 (#)

Glad you checked this out Mark, and thanks for the scam warning my friend..What will they think of next? As you so wisely said, 'if it seems too good to be true...' \0/x

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2013 (#)

Thanks for the expose', Mark. I get many through email. If they are legit I would have become a millionaire many times over! But I would rather earn my cents the hard way - because I leave everything behind and end up carrying forward the bad karma! siva

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author avatar Terry Trainor
11th May 2013 (#)

Maybe a way to launder money.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
11th May 2013 (#)

@Terry Trainor Some of them are money laundering schemes whiles others, like the one Mark was describing, are ways to pass fraudulent checks.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th May 2013 (#)

Very scary, thanks for the warning Mark...!

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author avatar Tranquilpen
11th May 2013 (#)

Thank you for sharing this info Mark

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author avatar ammu1115
21st May 2013 (#)

thank you for letting us know how to react in this kind of situations.

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author avatar Kingwell
30th May 2013 (#)

We need to always be alert. Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar renukakkar
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Thanks for the warning. There are so many scams these days. I get on my email, but I never open the links.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you for sharing -- sorry you didn't get to keep the money. I wish there were some way to drive these scammers out of business. Sadly, enough people must fall for it each year to make it profitable. I've been fooled or nearly fooled a couple of times myself, when a spam letter resembles something legitimate I tried or signed away for. We even had an eBay sale of a car ruined because of someone trying to launder money/pass a bad check. So again, thanks for sharing -- I think the only way we can keep awareness up is by doing what you have just done.

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author avatar Roxanne Nutbrown
18th Jun 2013 (#)

I also received the exact same letter and cheque in the mail. Who or where do I report this to? I live in Canada is this where everyone else lives as well that has gotten this in the mail?

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author avatar Judy Ellen
10th Jul 2013 (#)

I remember this same scam from 10 years ago that originated in Nigeria on a dating sight. Thank goodness you found out in time and thanks for alerting us!!

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author avatar Rose*
24th Nov 2013 (#)

Wow. The scammers keep getting more and more creative

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author avatar Bets
1st Jun 2015 (#)

Hello Mark, One thing to note; whenever it says 'must' as in this statement, " must deposit the check into my bank account," then it is fraudulent. It is like with a multiple choice test, if the answers include one with must in it then it is not the correct answer. I know this from my college days.
Thanx for sharing!
Smiles,
Your friend at wikinut!
Bets :)

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