Consumer Alerts

New E-Mail Scam Update

Aug 22, 2011 by Confero Inc.

Confero warned consumers about a new e-mail scam on Friday, August 19th.  Today, a consumer sent us a copy of the response he received when he responded to the scam. 

These scammers have used the name of Confero’s President and CEO, Elaine Buxton, and created a fake email address.  Remember, Confero never asks shoppers to sign up by sending personal information via email. Mystery shoppers register their interest on our secure website by visiting www.conferoinc.com and clicking on Shopper Center (upper right) to arrive at our secure website.

If you think someone is trying to scam you, please read our “How to Spot a Scam” article to find out what you should do!

Fake email from a scammer:

From: Elaine Buxton [mailto:e.buxton@aol.com]

Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2011 6:03 PM

To:

Subject: Re: Career opportunity inside

The training consists in three evaluations. You will receive a commission of $120 for each survey.

Being accepted for the training doesn't mean you're already hired, it all depends on the quality of your reports. After the training period you will receive all the needed documents to fill and sign including the tax form, and from that point you will receive assignments on regular basis. The maximum is one assignment per day, seven per week. You will have to let us know your optimal times available. During your one week training period, the first set of surveys you have to do is at a few western union locations in your area, within 10 miles from your zip code, you will receive the exact address and instructions at the right time. The task is to go there as a customer and tell them you want to use their transfer services. The funds will be received by another Mystery Shopper who is also making an evaluation. You have to be very natural but at the same time focus on small details as we need a comprehensive report from you.

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Confero Warns of a New E-Mail Scam

Aug 19, 2011 by Confero Inc.

Confero, Inc. has been alerted of a new scam targeting unsuspecting consumers.  The scam artists have used Confero, Inc.’s reputable name in an attempt to trick consumers into giving their personal information in exchange for high paying “mystery shops.”  This is a scam.

Below you will see a complete copy of an email received by a consumer from a scammer.  These scammers do a very good job of making these advertisements seem real.  They have even used the identity of Confero’s President and CEO, Elaine Buxton.  Elaine did not send this email and her email address is not e.buxton@aol.com.

Please take a few minutes to read over this scam email so you will be aware if you receive one of these emails.  Also, visit our Consumer Alerts section for more information on these and other types of scams that often target the mystery shopping industry.

Please be aware there are lots of reputable mystery shopping companies with lots of legitimate mystery shopping opportunities for consumers interested in becoming a mystery shopper.  For information on how to get started as a mystery shopper or to find legitimate mystery shopping opportunities, visit The Mystery Shopping Providers Association’s (MSPA) website or the Become a Mystery Shopper page on Confero’s website. 

Email Scam:

Confero is a leading provider of customer experience research services to leading national brands, multi-unit and independent growth companies. Customized solutions measure, monitor and report on front line performance and customer satisfaction so clients get the business intelligence needed to grow sales, build brand loyalty and increase bottom line results. Services include onsite mystery shopping, competitive studies, recorded telephone mystery shops, voice of the customer (IVR) surveys, web surveys, compliance audits and on the spot rewards.

A MysteryShopper should remain anonymous. You should act as a regular customer and be careful not to do anything that would reveal you as a shopper. An inexperienced shopper could tip off the staff to his/her identity by asking for the manager's name for no clear or appropriate reason. If you are going to be bringing someone with you on the shop, make sure you educate them about the process as well. Beware that even whispers can be
overheard by employees. If anyone notices you are a shopper, you can bet that word will quickly spread around the establishment and you will get
some of the best customer service in town.

 

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How to Spot a Scam

May 24, 2011 by Confero Inc.

Unfortunately, scam artists have targeted unsuspecting consumers under the disguise of mystery shopping companies for several years now.  Recently, there have been a couple of news stories involving a few of these scams.  Last year, the wire transfer company, MoneyGram had to pay $18 million to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission because it was found that “MoneyGram agents helped fraudulent telemarketers and other con artists who tricked U.S. consumers into wiring more than $84 million within the United States and to Canada.”  Also, in early April of this year, a man was sentenced to six years in prison for running a $6 million job scam

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Confero Warns About Fake Job Postings

Dec 22, 2010 by Confero Inc.

Yesterday, Confero was alerted about several job postings on several job sites including pennlive.com, silive.com and masslive.com.  Confero has not posted any of these job postings.  The postings advertise positions as Customer Service Representatives, Administrative positions, and Call Center employees.  All the ads list the person to contact as Dave Miller.  Confero does not have any employees by this name.

Confero, Inc. does not advertise for full-time positions anywhere other than in Cary, North Carolina.  All legitimate job openings for Confero are announced on our company website on the Careers page. 

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Confero Warns About Fake Check Scams, New Names Added to List of Scammers

Oct 14, 2010 by Confero Inc.

We would like to remind consumers about the fake check scams that have been attached to the mystery shopping industry for the past couple of years.

In this post, we are combining all the information and revelations from the past few months. Many consumers have received checks in the mail along with a letter on official-looking Confero letterhead. These checks are fake. The scam artists take the names of reputable companies in an attempt to fool unsuspecting consumers into cashing these fake checks. Always remember:

  • Confero does not send checks to shoppers as payment to shoppers.
  • Confero does not issue certified checks for shoppers to use during mystery shops.
  • Confero does not shop Western Union or Moneygram.
  • As the Fakecheck.org website states, “There is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money in return.”

In recent months, the scam artists have also started to pose as Confero schedulers. The following names have been used by scammers: Melissa Cole, Timothy Reeds, Robert Preston, Michael Thomforde, James Clayton, Paula Moore, Carlos Burnett, Chris Jordan, Alexander Hopkins, Mark Dwane, Kevin Jones, Melissa Hillman, Jimmy Bruce, Michael Hislap, Ashley Coleman and Dwayne Fox. It is inevitable that the scammers will continue to change names, so please remember, any check sent to you by anyone claiming to represent Confero is a scam. None of these persons work for Confero, Inc. These are made-up names used in official looking email messages or regular postal mail.

Often times these scammers will use email addresses from public domains such as yahoo, gmail, msn or aol. Legitimate Confero staff members will only contact you via their @conferoinc.com email address.

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Confero Warns About Job Posting Scam Alert, Hourly Rate Stated

Sep 03, 2010 by Confero Inc.

Confero has been alerted to a new type of mystery shopping scam.  Scam artists are taking Confero’s name and other company information and creating fake job postings.  They are posting these fake advertisements on various help wanted and job seeker sites.  When a potential applicant tries to apply for the position, they are asked to provide a variety of information, including personal information like Social Security Numbers.  


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Confero’s Elaine Buxton Talks With WRAL About Mystery Shopping

Sep 01, 2010 by Confero Inc.

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Confero President Discusses Mystery Shopping Scams with WRAL Reporter Monica Laliberte

Aug 31, 2010 by Confero Inc.

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Updated! FTC Issues Warning About Mystery Shopping Scams

Aug 05, 2010 by Confero Inc.

We have been notified that current fake letters to consumers list these phone numbers: 888-228-3460, 888-239-1660 or 877-594-6794.  Please read the following blog post for information on how to report a scam if you receive a fake letter or fake check.   Do not deposit these checks!
 

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FTC Issues Warning About Mystery Shopping Scams

Jul 14, 2010 by Confero Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new warning about mystery shopping scams. This particular warning is intended to caution recent college graduates about potential scammers targeting young people looking for work. Check out the FTC new release .

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