Wow! A reputable soul you’ve connected with via LinkedIn has a wonderful offer. You can make easy money in your spare time. The scam uses the name of a well-known mystery shopping company to give the false appearance of legitimacy. The person who alerted you to the “job” will be a local contact, well-known and respected in your community.  Someone scammers verified doesn’t respond to LinkedIn communications or mail.

(Click on any of the images to enlarge).

So you go ahead and establish email communication with the company. But look. Examine everything closely. Those of you on the Net since the days of CompuServe know something about checking email headers. Do it. Be careful. Scrutinize.

Red Flag: Every communication you engage in with the company is colored with an illusion of immediacy – hurry up and do this – stay in touch by email and text…

Funny. The company’s New York street address. They work in the trees?

The phone number they give is in California – but that doesn’t mean much. You can get a number in virtually any area code you like if you know the simple technique.

Yes! You received your official “package” – with nice fresh Money Orders! Beware before you deposit them in your bank… They’re as worthless as cashed lottery tickets. Call the issuing bank and give them the Money Order routing and document numbers. Issuer will verify your name and amount are all correct – but – the Money Order has already been “cashed” by YOU! Scratch your head! Which means the documents you have are worthless.

Consumers are responsible for deposited invalid instruments, even if it’s a cashier’s check. When the check bounces or the money order fails to pass muster, the bank deducts the money from your account – often with charges added. The bank will not take the loss.

Don’t expect to get any help from LinkedIn or on any of their forums: