A North Carolina bank has reported to us that one of their customers presented a check for deposit at the bank and brought the letter along to prove the validity of the check. The letter was basically for a secret shopper. The letter indicated she was to go to Burger King and Wal-Mart, make purchases and grade the experience. The next phase of the letter instructed her to send money to an agent with the company, via Western Union. This part of the shopping experience was to, "evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of a money paying system". The customer was convinced the letter was real, since she answered a real ad. She picked up the advertisement at local business, on their bulletin board. But in fact the ad was a scam. After the customer had deposited the check at her bank and transmitted the money, the check she had deposited would have bounced, leaving her responsible for the full amount of the deposit.
The name of the company was Skye Closings, a real company that handles loan closings, etc. They do not operate as a secret shopper organization. A rep from Skye Closings verified that their account had been compromised by an overseas company. The account number and name had been used to create fraudulent checks. Authorities are working on this case and the compromised account at Skye Closings has been closed.