Police Issue Warning on Mystery Shopper Scam

The South Gate Police Department warns residents to be alert to scam artists claiming to be hiring mystery shoppers.


Scams using fraudulent checks have returned to South Gate. For the past 10 years, such scams have cropped up in South Gate. The police are again warning residents to be careful.

“This scam happens here sporadically,” said Lt. Darren Arakawa of the . “This is a nationwide thing, though.”

The latest version of the scam to hit South Gate uses emails that claim to have hired a resident for a mystery shopper job. The scammer will then send a check with a larger-than-promised amount to the scam victim. The check will bounce by the time the victim returns the difference to a person who could be in a different city, state or even country.

“This is one of the million different ways how people dupe others into sending them [money] online,” said Arakawa.

The police warned residents to do their research before dealing with companies that they have never heard of and to be very cautious when dealing online with individuals they do not know.  

“People get taken all the time by scams like this,” said Arakawa. “Unfortunately, there is not a lot we can do.”

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