Fraud Warning from SQM
How to Avoid Signing up to a Mystery Shopping Scam!
It has come to our attention that in recent times, a money-wiring scam has begun to circulate in both the United States and Canada, whereby an individual or organization is unlawfully using both the Sensors Quality Management Inc. and SQM company names, to lure new victims.
This scam involves someone identifying themselves in emails, text messages, and on Craigslist advertisements, as “Neil Hudson”, though there are likely other names being used. This person, is unknown to SQM and is NOT an authorized representative of the company.
It is an all too common money-wiring fraud whereby a cashier’s cheque for a large amount of money (typically over $1,000.00) is sent via FedEx (or other couriers) to the victim’s home, with instructions to cash it and “Mystery Shop” Western Union (or other money wiring services). Typically you are asked to wire the majority of the cheque amount to an overseas individual, and keep $200.00 to $300.00 as your "Shopper" fee.
If you have received emails or text messages from “Neil Hudson” or anyone else instructing you to cash a cheque as part of a Mystery Shopping project, DO NOT RESPOND. If you have received a cashier’s cheque, as described above, DO NOT CASH IT. The cheque may look as it is from a recognizable bank, however, it is almost certainly a fake. If you cash this cheque your bank will give you the cash right away, but once they realize they cashed a fictitious cheque (usually one or two weeks after the fact) they will hold YOU accountable for the entire amount of the cheque, resulting in you being out of pocket whatever amount you wired overseas...
PLEASE NOTE, that Sensors Quality Management Inc. (SQM) would never send you money prior to completing an assignment. We are also not aware of any reputable company that would ask for you to send money back. Typically Mystery Shoppers are reimbursed for small purchases (i.e. clothes, restaurant meals, etc.) as well as a nominal Shopper fee, which is paid after the assignment has been completed, and expense reports submitted.
While the typical rule of thumb is "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" typically applies to most fraudulent activities, we urge you to educate yourself, your family, and friends about such scams and frauds by visiting the site www.fakechecks.org or contacting your local police.
UPDATE (November 13th, 2013)
It has come to our attention that in recent times, a new scam involving the SQM name has begun to circulate in both the United States and Canada.
A series of telephone calls coming from a number which has the call display name of "SQM US" has begun to circulate. The caller will use a variety of names, however, the number displayed is often 208-758-0625. Should you attempt to call back this number, you will get a message indicating that the number does not accept in-bound calls. To our knowledge, there is no legitimate Mystery Shopping firm operating under this name. Furthermore, this organization is not Sensors Quality Management Inc. (SQM).