• Report: #301759
Complaint Review:

Secret Shopper, employment Solutions, quantum Travel, sovereign Bank, travelers Express Co.

  • Submitted: Sun, January 20, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, January 23, 2008

  • Reported By:phoenix Arizona
Secret Shopper, employment Solutions, quantum Travel, sovereign Bank, travelers Express Co.
620 Mendelssohn Ave. N., Ste-190 Minneapolis, Minnesota U.S.A.

Secret Shopper - employment Solutions - quantum Travel - sovereign Bank - travelers Express Co. multiple deceptive ads for customer svc position in sunday, 30/09/2007, classifieds of ariz. republic caused nothing but grief Minneapolis Minnesota, north York Ontario, winnepeg Manitoba

*Consumer Suggestion: Sorry for your loss

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in the sunday, 30/09/2007, edition of the arizona republic, a major ariz. daily paper, employment-classifieds section, i noticed multiple ads for customer service that said,"customer service positions; now hiring in your area--paid training, no experience required. call us now." 2 ads gave a tel. # of 403-400-1815, while others gave: 403-307-0333 and 778-316-1918. 2 of ads said to view details at careerbuilder.com. knowing by the area codes that these were canadian numbers, i thought that it was a legit company in canada expanding their operations to the states, mainly ariz. silly me, knowing that alot of canadian employers have a good reputation of treating their labourers better their american counterparts, and also, wanting to sign on, develop a good rapport, and possibly transfer within the company, thereby showing the canadian govt's immigration bureau that i have employment when i go to renew my citizenship and return to my original home/place of birth of montreal, QC, canada. using my mobile phone, i called that 403 area code #. a young lady answered the phone as: employment solutions. found out that they handle secret shopper, and that by me ringing them, they hired me on by taking down my name and address, and told me to expect a letter/welcome/1st assignment packet in the post.

about 4-5 days later, i received such a packet. enclosed was a congratulatory welcome letter with assignment directives and what looked to be an official cashier's cheque for amt of $2450,00., name on top said-sovereign bank, agent or travelers express. issuer-travelers express co, inc, PO Box 9476, minneapolis, minn, 55480, drawee-u.s. bank, st. paul, minn., tel# 866-718-0307. the letter said that my assignment as a secret shopper, i'm to evaluate walmart, and moneygram. the breakdown of amt on cheque as follows: walmart purchase is $40,00 max; my salary and training pay-$120,00; and moneygram transaction-$2240,00 plus a $50,00 fee.

i was to call 204-951-8280 to validate enclosed cheque, otherwise an automatique stop payment would be placed on said cheque. i called in and spoke to a dan strauss. dan said cheque was validated and to go cash it. so, i went to my bank, bank of america, at 61st. st. and e. thomas rd, scottsdale branch to deposit this cheque into my acct. before cashing, i wanted to verify if the cheque was good. the pm branch supervisor said it was a cashier's cheque, and after the young, female teller "scanned" the cheque, her computer told her to credit my acct and she did.

i ringed dan back the next day and spoke to an older lady with a foreign accent, a possibly either asian indian, or african, who calls herself renee. renee, while giving me directives for the moneygram assignment for me to wire the $2240,00 to a ray evans-fictitious name for assignment, niagara falls, ontario, canada and call her back with the moneygram reference no., she started to get impatient and copped and attitude when i asked her either speak slowly, or repeat, because her accent was so thick, i could barely understand her; wondered if we could've communicated better if we spoke french to each other.

knowing that canada had a large number of immigrants living/working there, especially from india, middle east, pakistan, and africa, i thought nothing of renee. so, i wired the $2240,00 to the name and place at a moneygram location inside a tempe, az super walmart and secretly evaluated the moneygram/cust. svc rep per job descript. of secret shopper and called renee back with ref. no. she told me to go ahead with the walmart purchase/cashier evaluation part of the assignment and that i would receive my nxt assignment.

3-4 days later, received another packet, this time a ups express envelope frm ups canada. inside, another cheque, with the same above cheque info, but, dated for 25/10/2007, and amt $5450,00. again, spoke to dan strauss, validated the cheque with him, and went to the same b of a branch to repeat the process. this time, another teller told me that my acct was overdrawn in excess of $2450,00! i asked her how was that possible, and then it hit me, it was that 1st cheque i deposited. i spoke to another branch supervisor and told her that i think there's been a mistake, how could that cheque be returned when her colleague on that afternoon told me that it was a cashier's cheque and that her teller scanned that cheque and her computer said cheque was good? i told that supervisor that i thought that scanner at the teller was used for verifying the cheques presented to them for cashing, meaning said scanner would read the rtg and acct numbers on the cheque, send that info thru the wire to wherever it came frm and that other bank's computer would transmit back, either yes, cheque is good/cleared, or no-there's insufficient funds. when that teller's computer said,"good", i took it to be that. "well, all that scanner does is take a picture of that cheque," said the supervisor."

i asked supervisor why would you need a picture/facsimile of cheque when you have the original? she couldn't answer me and she, like all of the bank reps i talked to, in either other branches, or at their natl. cust. svc. line, proceeded to give me the runaround; refusing to take responsibility for that teller and her supervisor's error in judgement when i 1st deposited that 1st. cheque. of course, they wouldn't go after the issuers of that cheque for their lost funds, instead, they're hounding me, to this day, for immediate deposit of $2500,00 to cover overdraft, with no reasonable timetable to repay, other than asap or else acct closes and i go on cheque systems.

i immediately called dan strauss up, after leaving bank, and explained situation to him. of course, he sounded suprised that this would happen and said that he'll launch an investigation on his end. i told him because of circumstances, i cannot cash the 2nd. cheque, to which, he understood. he told me to call him back within 2 days, which i did. on the callback, he claimed that investigation was ongoing; give him another 2 days.

meanwhile, i finally get the reason, frm b of a, as to why cheque was returned; it was fictitious, phony acct, etc. next day i called, was told by a man named james that dan would be in later, although i sensed that i was speaking to dan that very moment, bec. "james" has the same voice and accent as dan. later, i called back and spoked to adam copeland, who also told me dan wasn't in.

called next day, a man who has a voice like dan, but, speaking with an unrecognisable accent and in a higher pitched voice told me to hang on. 1 sec later, he hung up on me, and when i tried to call back 4 more times, the phone on their end kept ringing and ringing each time.

as for the 2nd cheque, i took it to a u.s. bank to verify it. of course, u.s. bank has never seen a cheque like it, and when asked what it's about, i told the bank rep everything that's happened. they advised me that i've been victimised and wrote,"void" on the cheque.
this ordeal has been reported to phx. police dept., and the f.b.i. thru their website, ic3.gov. what the F.B.I. can do about this is up in the air at the moment; have not received a call from them as of yet. however, i'm retaining everything as evidence, including envelopes the 2nd cheque, and even the ups canada express envelope that contained my "2nd. assignment."

as for me, i'm out 2500 american bucks, in danger of being placed on cheque systems, because i can't pay back b of a back since i've been laid off frm my job and currently, unemployed. can anyone, who has expertise on these things help me out? i've never been a secret/mystery shopper before, so i don't know how to be 1, although i have heard of them when i was working in various retail businesses., so i guess i was easy pickings for these wankers, eh? seriously though, do i have any case at all against bank of america, for employee incompetence, ie: saying cheque is good, crediting my acct with the funds immediately--even though it was a cashier's cheque--instead of putting on a 7-10day hold because a-cheque is drawn off of a bank not affiliated with b of a, and b-out of state? also, do i need to contact the R.C.M.P in winnepeg, mainitoba?
i've seen similar reports on this website about secret shopper.

it's possible that this is the same lot that scammed the others. be leery of these ads that show up in your local papers' classified section with either the same or similar wording as the above mentioned ad. the tel#s to watch out for are: 403-400-1815, 204-951-8280, 212-381-2983, and 403-383-1070. names to beware of are: renee-older lady with thick accent, possibly african, or asian indian subcontinental, adam copeland, dan strauss, james, ray evans, and angela smith; company names could be: secret shopper, travelers express, quantum travel, inc, address-21 bloor st. e., north york, ont, m3a-1j2, canada, sovereign bank, and employment solutions.
if these perps are canadian, they have brought nothing but shame and embarrassment to me as a native born canadian, and to the people and govt. of canada.

open note to you wankers: mark my words, you will get caught! you can try to run, but definitely, u can't hide. RCMP possibly knows about u i'm sure as well as THE FBI, and Interpol. if all of you are immigrants i hope you all will receive many years imprisonment with very, very, hard and tortuous labour, after which, immediate revocation of your naturalisation citzenships, and/or pemanent residence cards, and immediate deportation back to your respective countries with eternal banishment from canada. i hope the same thing applies if you are living in the U.S.A.

phoenix, Arizona

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/20/2008 05:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/secret-shopper-employment-solutions-quantum-travel-sovereign-bank-travelers-express-co/minneapolis-minnesota-55427-4310/secret-shopper-employment-solutions-quantum-travel-sovereign-bank-travelers-expres-301759. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Sorry for your loss

AUTHOR: Jeff - (U.S.A.)

It sounds like you were yet another victim of a secret shopper scam, Andre. I'm a fraud investigator and I see this every day, so let me just say a few things that should help you:

1. You will not hear from the F.B.I. To be honest, there is so much of these scams going on nowadays for them to try and track everyone down would be a waste because it's just going to keep happening. Any other governemt agencies, from the United States and Canada alike, will not likely do anything as well. You did all that you can do with going on IC3 and contacting the appropriate authorities, which I can honestly say is more than most people do.

2. You don't have a case against Bank of America. I'm not too up to speed on e-check machines, but what I do know is that all they do is verify the account number and routing number of the BOA check. Yes, it very well could be the correct routing and account numbers, however that does not mean that the check isn't stolen, forged, altered, has a stop payment on it, etc. If all it does is just scan the actual check itself for purposes of record keeping, then for them to say "good" is, I must say, a bit misleading. However, that does not mean that you are not responsible for whatever you deposit, and withdraw for that matter, into and out of your account.

3. I would try and work with BOA to maybe set up a payment plan to re-pay the money you owe. If you can set up some sort of an agreement, accompainied with a promissary note, then they should not report you to Chexsystems. If you are indeed a victim of such a scam then they really shouldn't be "reporting you out" as we say in the fraud business. They could close out your account and send it to some sort of inside or outside collections, but as far as Chexsystems goes I would think/hope they could cut you a break.

If you have any further questions/concerns regarding your situation or others similar, feel free to contact me.

Best of luck to you.
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