FRANKFORT, KY (October 16, 2006) – Attorney General Stumbo announced Monday that Kentucky consumers are being targeted by a company called Shopping Group, Inc., located in the city of Kitchener in Ontario, Canada.
Shopping Group sends a letter to consumers stating that they have been chosen as a mystery shopper. Enclosed is a check for approximately $5,000. The recipient is instructed to immediately wire $2,500 and send another $1,200 by money gram to an individual in Kitchener. The letter explains that the balance is to pay for expenses, time and the purchase of items from stores assigned to the “shopper.”
“This is a new twist on the old counterfeit check scam,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “Scam artists are sending counterfeit checks and requesting that a portion be forwarded to a foreign address immediately. Consumers who fall prey to this scam not only lose money by sending the funds, but they are pursued by banks to return the funds or be prosecuted.”
Attorney General Stumbo urges all consumers to follow these tips to avoid victimization:
1. Avoid responding to any notices that seem too good to be true. It only increases your junk mail and your chances of being swindled.
2. Never wire money to anyone as part of a money-making scheme. If you have to pay in order to take part in the ploy, it is probably an illegal scam.
3. If you received a promotional check, even if it looks official, contact the Office of the Attorney General at 1-888-432-9257. Never deposit the check and spend the money. You may be held liable for the amount of the counterfeit check by your bank.