April 29, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is warning consumers and insurers that two companies are conducting a “mystery shopper scam.”
FSCO issued the warning on Thursday over My Shop Ltd. (using the email address email@example.com) and Mystery Global Survey Group (using an @intshopper.org email address).
The regulator said in a statement that the two companies have sent letters and cheques bearing Intact Insurance’s name and logo to a number of individuals, citing payment for a mystery shopper assignment. The “advance free fraud” scam typically involves My Shop Ltd. or Mystery Global Survey Group asking the individuals to deposit a cheque, keep a portion of the money in their account as payment and wire a sum of money to another person’s account. However, the cheque will not clear and the individuals will not be able to recover the sum transferred. “These are fraudulent cheques and not authorized by Intact, nor is Intact affiliated with My Shop Inc. or Mystery Global Survey Group, in any way,” FSCO warned.
Consumers should exercise caution if they are contacted by anyone from these coordinates and are encouraged not to deposit the cheque or contact the company. Instead forward copies of the materials received to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Intact Insurance is a target of this scam and has published a warning notice on its website. FSCO warns that other insurance companies may potentially become targets as well.
In March, the FSCO warned of another advance fee fraud mail scam conducted by an unlicensed company, Onward Assurance Financial Services. The company, and other previously identified as operating the same scam, claimed to be working on behalf of the Multi-State Lottery/Gaming Association to “find winners that have not claimed their winnings and to help them navigate the laws and protocols mandated by federal and state regulations on sweepstake winnings,” FSCO said at the time.