Neighborhood Research Inc. Secret Shopping

Morgan –

Victim Location 98499

Total money lost $50

Type of a scam Fake Check/Money Order

I received an email from about doing a survey for $300 cash. I figured why not surveys are pretty fun and I could use the money. After filling it out online I was notified that it would be a secret shopper mission my local Walmart . A few days later I received a text letting me know that my package would come in the mail. On July 26th 2018, I did receive a package in the mail with not only instructions on how to do the survey, but it also included a check for $1,850. The letter gave instructions that $300 was my compensation, $50 was for me to use to shop while I was completing the survey in the store, and the remaining $1,500 was for me to purchase 3 $500 gift cards at the Money Center to judge how they handle each transaction. I deposited the check that same day. On July 27th 2018, the funds were fully available and I was ready to do the survey at Walmart. Around 11:30 a.m. I went to my local Walmart to carry out the secret shopper survey. I was in the store for about an hour for the first part of the transaction which was spending the $50 I was given. While checking out I checked my account to make sure I had put the money into the debit card I was using, and that’s when I had noticed I was negative $1,550 in my second checking. I finish the transaction in the store and went outside to call my bank. Normally transferring money between accounts doesn’t result in a negative, my banker agreed and kindly told me that the check was fully returned by its issuer and that I needed to return the items I had just bought at Walmart with their money or else I would have to come up with the missing money for fraudulent activity. It was honestly a nightmare, I went right back into the store and returned all the items that I had purchased with the $50. Then I transferred the remaining $1,550 back to my second checking resulting in a zero balance. However I was supposed to be compensated with $300, which they also took back. That wouldn’t be so bad if I had not already paid three different bills. Then I had to call each of the billing companies and have them cancel the payment I had made the same day. Only two of the three billing companies were able to cancel the payment, leaving me with one unresolved that I now have to come up with the money to pay for. I contacted the number that they had messaged me from originally and they did not reply, as well as the number in the email in the letter, and no response either. It was a disaster experience and I hope it does not happen to anyone else. However since I did complete my survey I feel I still should be compensated for my time and effort like I was promised.

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