New to this and very wary!

AustinMom they closed the account already it's not frozen. Unfortunately Bank of America says that I'm unable to bank with them anymore, I suspect they've put me on a "Blacklist" of some sort with their company. But that's fine by me there's plenty of other banks out there it'll just be an inconvenience.

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You might try a locally owned bank instead of a national bank like Wells Fargo, maybe you will have better luck.
I've wondered about going with a local bank my only issue is I live in NYC for college and I'm originally from NC so when I go home for the summer I like to have a bank I can go to to deposit checks/cash.
@LukeMann wrote:

I've wondered about going with a local bank my only issue is I live in NYC for college and I'm originally from NC so when I go home for the summer I like to have a bank I can go to to deposit checks/cash.

Suggestion: Try a local credit union: most of them have a network that will allow you to use any other credit union's ATM for free.

Shopper in California's Bay Area
I will look into the credit unions thank you for that information I would've never known that.
Oh that's a great idea. My stepdaughter, who hasn't always been so responsible when it comes to money, was able to open an account at a credit union after she messed up with her checking account. I think it's just a savings account, but she is able to take her checks and make partial deposits, keeping the cash for day-to-day expenses. Great idea.
Both Compass and Woodforest National Bank offer Second Chance Checking, checking accounts open to those who have bad reports from Chex System and/or have bad credit histories.
RBG is legit and do have shops all over the Cali area. Simple fix to your problem would be just go to there website and register. Avoid the rhetoric and go to the source.
@jamieg1973 wrote:

RBG is legit and do have shops all over the Cali area. Simple fix to your problem would be just go to there website and register. Avoid the rhetoric and go to the source.

You may be missing the point here, jamie. RBG is a legit company, but the individual who contacted the OP and the other respondent in this thread used the RBG name but did not work for or represent RBG. It was a scam. The individual sent large checks to these people and asked that they cash the check and keep a large commission and send an even larger amount of money to someone else. The checks were no good. One of them fell for it. After he sent $1600 to this scammer, he realized the check was no good and he had been scammed out of $1600.

Registering with the real company is a great idea. They do not pay the huge fees that the scammer pretended to be paying. (NOTE: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.) But registering with the real RBG is certainly not a quick fix to LukeMann's problem. His problem at this point is repaying $1600.
Oops, AustinMom I did miss that and now that I see what the issue is I have been there and done that as well. Sad scenario. Thank you
@AustinMom wrote:

You may be missing the point here, jamie. RBG is a legit company, but the individual who contacted the OP and the other respondent in this thread used the RBG name but did not work for or represent RBG. .

You are right AustinMom. The scammer even used the RBG logo on the scam email. They are probably making BANK on this scam because they are telling people that they got our email address from our school's career website.
Yeah I totally agree SolarKing. They're probably making tons of money off this. I don't think I'm a stupid person (although some people might disagree with me now) but they sure were able to convince me that they were a real company. I wonder if any other college students have fallen for this scam yet.
I'd bet money on it Luke. They almost got "The Old Sarge". I'm sure some less experienced folks got taken as well.
I just caught up on this thread. There are a lot of issues and blame to go around, but I am pretty disgusted with the way the bank handled this. He even called AFTER depositing the checks and they told him they were okay. Then they close his account, which I understand, but no phone call?

I would try a local bank or even a national bank, that is more conserned with their customers on a local level, or has others have mentioned, a credit union.

I bank with Chase and Huntington and I am certianly not a millionaire, but if there is ever an issue with my account, I hear about it RIGHT away.

The banks should be MUCH more aware of these scams, more so then anyone. However, I have come across several situations where no one in the bank, other than a manager, is familar with this type of scam. The banks should be training all their people on this.

We hear about this scam over and over and over and are so familiar with it, it is easy to say, "You should have known better!" Do you have any idea how many people fall for this, especially seniors? This is the reason the scammers use it. They have it set up where they get a good payout, from how to send out the letters, to using company names, to how the checks are processed, etc. Personally, I think the banks need to take a much bigger part in stopping these from happening.

Luke, how often, prior to these checks, were you depositing checks for that large of an amount? How easy would it be for the bank to have even a software program to make note of the oddity and find out more? or even put it on an automatic hold?

I feel sorry for these people getting scammed. But, I bet you it will NEVER happen to you again....hopefully.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2015 05:10PM by spaztck.
My understanding is that many banks are indeed aware and that some have even refused to honor small checks shoppers receive when they have any identification about 'Mystery Shopping' on them. Of course the real scams won't have that, but many banks are trying to get it right. Similarly Western Union was being cautious about sending sums of money to Nigeria. I remember hearing about a man arguing with the manager of a grocery store because he 'needed' to wire money to Nigeria and the store was refusing to do it. The manager was very politely asking the guy what his relationship was to the person he was sending money to and the man (scruffy, Caucasian male in his 40's) insisting it was none of the manager's business.
Again, that is part of the problem, if they are trying to refuse small checks (not scam related), then they are not fully educated on the scam. They are making things worse. How many of us would automatically know, that a check for $15, is almost guaranteed not to be a scam. The bank should know this too.

Kudos to Western Union for that!
@spaztck wrote:


Luke, how often, prior to these checks, were you depositing checks for that large of an amount? How easy would it be for the bank to have even a software program to make note of the oddity and find out more? or even put it on an automatic hold?

I feel sorry for these people getting scammed. But, I bet you it will NEVER happen to you again....hopefully.

Prior to these checks I only deposited checks of this value around special times such as Christmas, Birthday, and going off to school. I actually don't think I've ever deposited a check over $2,000 to Bank of America.

I agree I feel that the bank really did me dirty, even though I cashed a bad check. I called them on the day before they closed the account and just spoke with a customer service assistant who told me the checks had cleared, I told him I suspected fraudulent activity but he said they were fine. I just don't think it was very courteous of them to close my account without a phone call and expect me to call them. I didn't even receive an email except for the one alerting me that my funds had fell below $25.

No I don't think I'll fall for this ever again. I hope I can also help alert people about this issue too so we can make sure less people fall for this scam.
Hey everyone.

Just wanted to say thank you all again for everything I really do appreciate your support. I recently wrote an article through my school about this incident where I'm warning college students about this scam by telling them my story. If you'd like to read the article and share it with your friends and family I would appreciate it [theodysseyonline.com]

Currently the school is trying to find a way to help me out with this situation, I guess they might be thinking that this scammer actually did find my information through their career website. I don't know what resolve we will come to but I will keep you posted as to what happens.
Luke - thank you for posting the link to the article. I just sent the article to my son, who is a Junior at a university in Virginia. The easier it is for people to search for and find this scam, the better. Unfortunately, the scammers will move on to something else just as nefarious. As I promised in a much earlier message, I went to your GoFundMe site and contributed.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@myst4au wrote:

I just sent the article to my son, who is a Junior at a university in Virginia. The easier it is for people to search for and find this scam, the better. Unfortunately, the scammers will move on to something else just as nefarious.

myst4au
Thank you for passing that article along to your son, I hope he passes it along to his friends and warns them to steer clear of any of these scams. I believe I received your donation and sent you back a thank you email. I want to thank you for helping me out, I know this is my mistake and ultimately it is up to me to fix it but I really do appreciate any contribution I receive as it is 100% going to paying back the bank.

I can't keep saying thank you enough for the support I've received on this forum, I barely know anyone on here but the support and advice you have all given me in incredible and I cannot thank you all enough for that.

I've also been thinking about getting into some legitimate Mystery Shopping, does anyone have any pointers on where I should begin?
There is a link at the bottom of the page, showing the official list of mystery shopping companies. You can start applying to companies to see what they have in your area. Also, jobslinger.com has listings, as well as this site.
What Mystery Shopping Company do ya'll recommend joining? I notice MarketForce is very popular on this form. Is it possible to work for more than one Mystery Shopping Company at a time?
Market Force is a good first company as they give decent instructions to shoppers, have jobs everywhere and pay the month after you do the shops. They pay, however, by direct deposit or by check, so you need to either have a bank account or some way to handle a check.
You can work for as many as you can handle. The more you sign up with, the more potential shops you will see. Sometimes companies don't have anything in your area, but might next week, next month or next year, depending on the projects they handle. Some companies have the same shops every month, as long as they have the contract.

Start out slow, read the other sections of this forum and don't get discouraged, initially. Things get better with experience.
There are some which are targeted to college students. These include college book stores and dining room visits.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Even though I haven't done any mystery shopping, the folks at Reality Based Group had contacted me several times concerning this scam that uses their name and company logo. I would say that they are fairly reputable and many shoppers here had good things to say about them.
Yes, they are a decent group and they have been around quite a while. They used to be called Gamefilms.
Reality Based Group is reputable. Their good name has been hijacked by scammers.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@shopper8 wrote:

Scam, Scam, Scam

What are you referring to? There is a real Reality Based Group that is a good company to work with. There is currently a scam using their name, which is how this thread arose.
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