The Regina Police Service would like to remind residents about so-called Secret Shopper scams and any other form of overpayment scam. Secret Shopper scams usually begin when a victim responds to an ad on a job search website or a site such as kijiji or usedregina. After accepting the job, the victim is then sent a package of information and a cheque for $1500-4000, overpaying the victim for the promised wage. The victim is then instructed to cash the cheque, keep a small amount, usually around $300, for himself or herself as a wage. The victim is instructed to spend some cash at local stores while performing Secret Shopper duties. The victim is then asked to wire or money transfer the rest of the money to another individual, often overseas. This is not how legitimate companies pay their employees. In this scam, the cheque bounces and the victim is responsible for repaying the full amount of the cheque.
There have been 8 victims of this scam in the Regina area in the past month. This scam may take several different forms. Be wary of any cheque that is an overpayment. Be wary of any company that asks you to cash a company cheque and send money elsewhere. This is not how a legitimate company does business. Legitimate companies should meet any potential employee face to face or on the phone to verify that person’s identity and qualifications for the job. Legitimate companies use banks and bill payment services themselves and should never ask you to pay someone else by overpaying you. This is a scam. Do not cash the cheque. Do not send money elsewhere. A money transfer service should only be used to send funds to people you know and trust. Do not use this service to send money to a stranger or for online auction purchases or overpayment cheques received.
If you believe you have been the victim of this scam, please call the Regina Police Service at 777-6500 or come down to the front desk at the police station (1717 Osler st) any day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m..