FOX43 Finds Out: don’t fall for the shopper scam

LANCASTER, Pa -- You get a letter in the mail claiming you just have to shop to make some extra cash.

Sound good?


Is it a scam?


"We're not aware of any customer service evaluator scams in our region before, so it's new and if we have 1 or 2 targets, there's probably a lot more who haven't come forward yet," said Brett Hambright, Media specialist for the Lancaster County District Attorney office.

He says someone in Lancaster county was mailed a letter claiming to be from Market Force.

The letter claims someone can make $300.

They send along what looks like a real cashiers check for much more for you to take to the bank, so you send the money you don't use back to them,

"They deposit the cashiers check, in their account and then they'll get further instructions through text message on the day of the evaluation," said Hambright.

In this case, the further instruction is likely to spend some of the remaining money.

But remember, Hambright says that money is never really there.

Hambright said what you`re doing instead is spending your money at the store and then sending the crooks back your money too.

"The remainder from that cashiers check, which was fake, the recipient - the victim - would send back from their own money to this company, which is actually a scammer."

Now there is a real Market Force company that does pay mystery shoppers.

Even that company warns people of these types of scams.

The company recommends you watch out for misspellings and discrepancies.

Like this letter that says your so called 'salary would be two-hundred dollars, but has $300 in parenthesis.

This is why Hambright says you need to think for a minute before using your own cash.

"It's asking you to essentially pay for something that you should be getting paid for, so that's an obvious red flag. Any sort of text message based interaction with a real company like this, it's just not legit."

Lancaster County detectives referred this case to the FBI.

Anyone else who got a letter can report it to their local police department.

Here are some other red flags that actual company, Market Force, says you should look out for.