This week we were notified that our corporate logo was stolen and used in an email campaign intended to defraud unsuspecting recipients. The emails in question appeared to be from The Sentry Marketing Group and offered the recipients the chance to become a mystery shopper. Recipients of these emails were requested to respond with basic contact and work history information and told that they would be contacted if they were selected to complete mystery shopping assignments.
The fraudsters would then mail the recipients a check with instructions to cash the check at their bank and to wire a portion of the proceeds back to the fraudulent mystery shopping company. Recipients were told that they could keep the remaining portion as their fee. After the money is wired, recipients were advised by their bank that the check is fraudulent and that they were responsible for the money lost and related bank fees.
We strongly suggest that you always proceed with great caution when handling email to perform mystery shopping, surveys or similar offers.
The Sentry Marketing Group never sends checks or contacts prospective shoppers in the manner in which these emails are written. Legitimate mystery shopping assignments are only sent to registered shoppers or posted to known shopper websites. Prospective shoppers are directed to our website to complete our registration process. Your information is never requested via email. The security of our shopper’s data is very important to us. All websites containing shopper data are protected with SSL encryption.
If you have received this type of offer or have been a victim of this scam, we strongly encourage you to submit the email (with all of the message headers) and file a complaint at The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). In addition you may want to file a report with Federal Trade Commission and local authorities