Victim Location 30318
Type of a scam Counterfeit Product
On July 13th, I received this e-mail:
From: Closer Evaluation Research Inc.
To: my e-mail (removed)
Sent: Fri, Jul 13, 2018 7:48 am
Subject: ATTN:Lori Smith;FIRST SURVEY ASSIGNMENT DELIVERY NOTIFICATION.
Hello Lori Smith,
How are you doing? Thank you once again for accepting to work with us on the project.
This message is to notify you that the assignment package for your first survey assignment has been sent via USPS.It should arrive between Today 13th July.
The USPS tracking number:””’420303189405512699350106157925””’
Once the package delivers,we expect you to notify me via email and proceed to read the instruction letter enclosed.Also enclosed is a check to cover your shopping expenses and also your pay.The funds from the check will be available to you within 24 hours after deposit at your bank.The instruction letter will assist you with carrying out the assignment easily.
I hope you understand. I await your swift response.
Kindly watch the attached YouTube video for tips on how to conduct a successful survey.
Closer Evaluation Inc.
Then, on July 16th, I got a letter and check for $2370.30 by USPS priority envelope in the mail. Letter says I’ve been hired to be a "secret shopper" and says to deduct $350 as my first payment, then to purchase 10 (ten) x $200 EBAY gift cards, evaluating customer service, display, availability, condition and arrangement etc., and particularly if they stock enough EBAY cards for customers.
After buying the cards I am to take front and back photos of the cards, (after scratching off reveal code), and email them to [email protected] Which of course is a scam because then their check would bounce and I just spent $2000 buying them gift cards and making them useable online!
What a scam!!!
It also says "do not disclose that you are evaluating their services as that will eter the purpose of the program. Also please do not mistakenly purchase prepaid card."
It then says to contact the same e-mail address above ([email protected]) to fill out a questionnaire.
What I find particularly suspicious with this, is that the "check" appears to be from the Santa Cruz County of Education (which I searched and is a real entity, and the address on the check matches the address. On their home page (http://www.santacruzcoe.org), they had a "Counterfeit Alert" button, which I clicked (http://www.santacruzcoe.org/counterfeit-alert/):
Please be aware that there has been a significant amount of counterfeit activity against the checking account of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.
If you have received a check from our office and are not sure if it is valid, please email the check number, dollar amount and the payee listed on the check to one of the following staff by email:
Kira Kroger at (831) 466-5626 / [email protected] or
Jean Gardner at [email protected]
If you know the check is invalid or suspect that someone is attempting a scam, please contact your local law enforcement and file a police report. Please give the original check and envelope that it was mailed in to your local law enforcement agency. They can work in cooperation with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s department, the case number is 1806003.
Thank you for your assistance.
(Posted July 2018)"
I e-mailed a copy of the letter and check to Ms. Gardner and Ms. Kroger, and have called the police to file a police report, am awaiting an officer and will give them the check, letter, envelope and the Case Report number for them to contact the Santa Cruz sheriff’s office.
I filed a report with the Atlanta Police (Officer Major) and gave him the package, letter, check and e-mail I got from the scammer, along with an e-mail from the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Officer Major said it would be turned over to the Fraud Division. Sgt. Skeet from the fraud division called me today and followed up.