A popular St. John’s business is the latest company to get caught up in a sophisticated financial scam.
Manna Bakery started to get calls last week about bogus cheques surfacing in something called the mystery shopper scam.
Somehow fraudsters obtained one of the businesses legitimate cheques and printed off hundreds of fraudulent copies to use in their scheme.
“To the people who get the cheques as well as most banks who try to cash the cheques or receive the cheques, they look perfectly legitimate,” Manna Bakery vice-president Jon Rusted told CBC News.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is warning people if you get a letter asking you to become a mystery shopper, and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“This scam usually circulates every couple of years,” RNC Const. Talia Murphy said. “It’s been known to happen. Individuals are asked to cash cheques for individuals they don’t know and then send money back to them.”
By the time the bank figures out the cheque is fraudulent, thousands of dollars have been drawn on the victim’s account, which they end up on the hook for.
Rusted, meanwhile, says this incident hasn’t shaken his faith in people, despite all the hassle it’s meant to his business.
While some people did try to cash the cheques, he says most called the business to let them know they had a bogus one.
Tags: mystery shopper