Oregon AG warns of 'Secret Shopper' scam

Oregon AG warns of 'Secret Shopper' scam

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by Ed Teachout, KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on September 5, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 6 at 9:53 AM

SALEM -- The Oregon Attorney General's office has issued a warning to Oregonians about a secret-shopper scam fooling people out of thousands of dollars.

John Kroger said the AG's office has received nearly 100 complaints about scam but there is little the state can do.

It's actually a variation of an old scam called, "The Secret Shopper. "

Mary Gorgin was a victim. She thought she would make over $200 before she even did any work.

First, she was asked to deposit a check for nearly $2,000 from the bogus company into her own account. 

She was told that she should spend some of the money at a businesses where she would work as a "secret shopper."

Then, she was to keep $200 as her payment and then wire the rest of the money back to the so-called research company via Western Union.

While it sounded good, the deal was far from it.

The initial payment check had actually been stolen from another company.

"These companies are almost always operating from overseas where our laws don't apply," said Tony Green, a spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office.

He added that it may take local banks up to a month to catch the bad check and by that time the "secret shopper" is out thousands of dollars because the wired money already cleared and won't be coming back.

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