Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Barret Service Solutions - A Cover for the Secret Shopper Scam?

There are a lot of people getting taken in secret shopper scams. The name Barret Service Solutions keeps popping up as a cover company for this brand of "misdeed" on the Internet.

Here is a recent comment about Barret Service Solutions:

I fell into the scam for a company called Barret Service Solutions. I am now $3600 in the hole and will soon lose everything, possibly my car!!! I am in tears writing this because I know there is almost no recovery for me. Stupid kid trying to make some extra money on the side of having a full time job and going to school full time too!! Hopefully I won't go to jail, but the chances are now very likely due to my lack of funds!!!

In case you don't know how the secret shopper scam works, here is a description from an earlier post:

In the secret shopper scam, people are solicited to become "secret shoppers" - sometimes known as "mystery shoppers" - and go into (normally) Walmart to negotiate a bogus check (Walmart recently got into the business of cashing checks). They are then asked to wire the money using Walmart's MoneyGram services to Canada and report on the "customer service" aspects of their visits.

The checks - in almost all these cases - are counterfeit and the person cashing them will be the one held responsible. This will mean a "financial hardship" and (possibly) criminal charges for the unfortunate "soul" tricked into doing this.

Once the money is wired - it's normally picked up immediately - and can't be recovered.

Full post (with comments and other links), here.

I've also been told that secret shopper scams are appearing in the classified sections of newspapers.

If you get an offer like this - take a deep breath - and do not respond.

In the United States - you can report these scams to:

Internet Crime Complaint Center (FBI)

In Canada - you can report them to:

Phonebusters

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an informative page on mystery (secret) shopping, here.

3 comments:

Fight The Good Fight! said...

I always see that add about 'secret shoppers'. Thought is was a weird one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for for this info. My wife got this add, and almost fell into this trap. I decided to look the company up, and found this blog.

I will definately spread the word!

I don't see how this company hasn't got caught yet.

Bethany said...

I am so glad that I read this. I Googled Barret because I was about to do one of their "services". Wow! I could have been seriously screwed! Thank you for reporting this!