I received a letter dated, 10/22/2008. with a check in the amount of $4,995.00 enclosed, dated 10/24/2008, which was to be my payment for my first assignment as a mystery shopper, as I apparently had applied for a position with some company in the past to work as a mystery shopper.
The jist of the letter was that I was to go to a Money Gram location and observe the employee as they processed a money gram to be sent to someone named Susan and then my last name. In the course of this process, I was to observe various things about the employee and supposedly fill out a form that was enclosed that contains in bold print along the side of where the answers were to be given, "MARKER RESPONDS SHEET" which immediately caused red flags to fly up, as this is very unprofessional and most LEGITIMATE companies are not going to be sending anything this tacky to a potential employee. Further, clearly once you cash this check and send the majority of it as a "TEST" to determine the capacity of the employee to do his/her job, you would never see another penny of it. There were token amounts for the probation training pay and the fee for the money gram and the money that you would need for shopping, as a means of distracting a person from true nature of the intent.
Bottom line if a person has sufficient credentials to obtain an outright transfer of the check for cash, they would loose all of this money but a couple of hundred and there is no way they could retrieve the money, as there is no traceable connection to the real person that sent it.
Finally, of importance is the fact that the postmark showed the letter originating in CANADA.
I hope I can save somebody the pain of having to pay the price for following through with the directions in this or similar communications.