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Forum Thread

Is a survey study a scam?

mikenmike0001 2,817 276 March 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM in Question
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Hi,

I'm not sure, but the rule of thumb that people have told me is that if there's any request for someone you don't know to do a wire transfer of money, then you should be suspicious and it could be a scam.

So originally, I signed up to a study on CL that got full and got this e-mail

Quote :
$250 Paid Study

Dear Applicant,

The study you applied for is filled but there is a new study if you are interested.

PolarVisions Inc, is looking for individuals to participate in an upcoming survey in your area.The survey will take 15 minutes to complete and you will receive a $250 cash compensation for participating.

To apply reply with the following
Email -
Name -
Zipcode -

Contact Rodney at ( surveys@polarvisions.org ) for more details.

Sincerely,
Rodney Osborne
That was on 2/15.

Then I filled it out and got this e-mail the next day


Quote :
Hello,

PolarVisions Inc®, announces free new vacancy for a market research study. We use market research to measure the quality of service rendered or gather specific information about products and services that help organizations strengthen brand reputations, improve communication and enhance customer relationships.

We are currently conducting a survey on western union agent locations to help measure and improve effectiveness of the services offered to customers, this is as a result of complaints from some of western union repeat customers about the behavior and misconducts at most western union outlets.

You will be required to visit a western union agent location in your area and evaluate the services they render as a customer, at the end of the research you will give us feed back on your overall experience by filling out a simple questionnaire. Each survey takes about 1hr to complete and you will be paid $250 for every evaluation completed. This will not inconvenience your present occupation.

If you meet all the requirements and wish to be a highly paid worker in our fast-growing company, please write to us by email.

Carefully fill the form to participate:

Full Names:
Mailing Address: (No P.O Box deliveries)
City / State / Zip code:
Phone Number(s):
Employment Status:

As soon as we receive the above information you will be added to our database to confirm your participation in the survey and we will contact you with further details to proceed. All information provided will remain confidential, it will not be shared for any reason and will only be used for the purpose of this study .

Thank you,
Rodney Osborne
Market Research Analyst
PolarVisions Inc®

Then today, I got through USPS Express Mail an envelope that I signed for that contained a letter statement and a check for $2,750.

I sent them an e-mail letting them know that I got it and they replied back saying:

Quote :
Here are your instructions for the WesternUnion survey.

STEP 1: Have the payment received cashed and deduct your $250 compensation for the survey.

STEP 2: Take the leftover cash to any WesternUnion location of your choice and pose as a customer making a wire transfer to an associate.

STEP 3: Deduct another $170 for charges for using WesternUnion services and request a wire transfer of the leftover funds to the below information.

Receivers Information:
Frank Konan
6502 Woodcrest Rd
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Be sure to observe how long it took you to get services, intelligence of the attendant and customer service professionalism during the transfer process. Under no circumstances should the WesternUnion agents know this evaluation is being carried out on them. Email me as soon as you make the transfer with the following information.

10 Digits MTCN #
Transaction Charges
Confirm Amount Sent
WesternUnion outlet surveyed

A questionnaire regarding your experience with WesternUnion will be emailed to you after completion of the survey.

Look forward to your response today.

Regards,
Rodney Osborne
Market Research Analyst

I've never done any wire transferring or used WesternUnion before, and I don't know who this Frank Konan is, but I'm wondering if all of this appears legit or not.

I figured, I have made copies of the check, the letter, the envelope, and everything and I have not done Step 1 yet, but if it is a scam, then I have all the information needed to make sure that I don't run into trouble for myself. Plus, I figured that if the check is scanned at the bank and it's invalid, they'll let me know right away.

Did anyone else get this survey invite and do this already?

28 Comments

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#2
Scam - run as far away as you can! The check will later bounce and you will be held liable for it.
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#3
Hello! I responded to the same CL ad as you and have received the same emails (from Rodney Osborne) and I received the check for the same amount in the mail today. I also have the same instructions to go to Western Union and transfer the funds to the same guy in ND. It definitely feels sketchy, doesn't it? I haven't done anything yet. Are you going to do it???

I'm thinking I'm going to just destroy the check...it's too fishy.
Jamie
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Last edited by JamieJJS77 March 1, 2013 at 12:57 PM
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#4
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
I've never done any wire transferring or used WesternUnion before, and I don't know who this Frank Konan is, but I'm wondering if all of this appears legit or not.
Scam. Actually it is a little alarming that you have gone this far since the initial email, $250 for a 15 minute survey, should have had you hitting the delete key so fast the keyboard would still be smoking.
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#5
Quote from JamieJJS77 View Post :
Hello! I responded to the same CL ad as you and have received the same emails (from Rodney Osborne) and I received the check for the same amount in the mail today. I also have the same instructions to go to Western Union and transfer the funds to the same guy in ND. It definitely feels sketchy, doesn't it? I haven't done anything yet. Are you going to do it???

Jamie
Please don't do it. That check you got will bounce. And do not email your bank account info to that Nigerian prince either.
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#6
Quote from thehip View Post :
Please don't do it. That check you got will bounce. And do not email your bank account info to that Nigerian prince either.
Ha! I definitely won't give the Nigerian prince any money. And I'm destroying this survey check right now!
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#7
Quote from JamieJJS77 View Post :
Ha! I definitely won't give the Nigerian prince any money. And I'm destroying this survey check right now!
Good for you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Union

About half way down the page there is a little section about scams.
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#8
Quote from thehip View Post :
Good for you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Union

About half way down the page there is a little section about scams.
Aha! Thanks for the link. That makes sense. I had a feeling it was a money laundering thing. The check is in the trash now! Hopefully anyone else who received this will do the same...
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Original Poster
#9
Hi,

I have some questions to follow up for you guys.

Actually, the thing is that the e-mail said it would be a 1 hour survey follow up, not 15 minutes. And for $250, there is some work involved since I have to cash the check and go through the process at Western Union.

I will talk to local police about this, but before that.

Another few things I thought about was this:

1) If the check is a fake, wouldn't the local bank be able to scan it and look at it to find out that it's not legit before letting me cash it out?

2) If I e-mailed back and forth with this Rodney guy, can't the IP of the e-mail source be tracked by police if it is in case a scam?

3) The location to send the wire transfer to is in ND, not Nigeria or out of state. Anything unusual about this?

4) I have the envelope still with the tracking number from USPS express mail. If it is a scam, couldn't they just reverse the destination back of where it was mailed out from?

5) If it was a scam, how do they face the address on the check?

6) How would I be liable to pay back everything if I have copies of all the sender information like address, name, tracking number, check information, and IP addresses of where the e-mail responses are coming from?
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Last edited by mikenmike0001 March 1, 2013 at 01:25 PM
#10
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
Hi,

I have some questions to follow up for you guys.

Actually, the thing is that the e-mail said it would be a 1 hour survey follow up, not 15 minutes. And for $250, there is some work involved since I have to cash the check and go through the process at Western Union.

I will talk to local police about this, but before that.

Another few things I thought about was this:

1) If the check is a fake, wouldn't the local bank be able to scan it and look at it to find out that it's not legit before letting me cash it out?

2) If I e-mailed back and forth with this Rodney guy, can't the IP of the e-mail source be tracked by police if it is in case a scam?

3) The location to send the wire transfer to is in ND, not Nigeria or out of state. Anything unusual about this?

4) I have the envelope still with the tracking number from USPS express mail. If it is a scam, couldn't they just reverse the destination back of where it was mailed out from?

5) If it was a scam, how do they face the address on the check?

6) How would I be liable to pay back everything if I have copies of all the sender information like address, name, tracking number, check information, and IP addresses of where the e-mail responses are coming from?
Here is the thing, this is 100% a scam.
Do not cash that check, you will be sorry if you do!
They set these scams up to be somewhat believable and trust me, if you cash that check, when it bounces in a few weeks and it will, your bank will reverse it and make you pay it back - remember, you spent the money - they don't care if you sent it to someone you don't know by Western Union.
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#11
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
Hi,

I have some questions to follow up for you guys.

Actually, the thing is that the e-mail said it would be a 1 hour survey follow up, not 15 minutes. And for $250, there is some work involved since I have to cash the check and go through the process at Western Union.

I will talk to local police about this, but before that.

Another few things I thought about was this:

1) If the check is a fake, wouldn't the local bank be able to scan it and look at it to find out that it's not legit before letting me cash it out?

2) If I e-mailed back and forth with this Rodney guy, can't the IP of the e-mail source be tracked by police if it is in case a scam?

3) The location to send the wire transfer to is in ND, not Nigeria or out of state. Anything unusual about this?

4) I have the envelope still with the tracking number from USPS express mail. If it is a scam, couldn't they just reverse the destination back of where it was mailed out from?

5) If it was a scam, how do they face the address on the check?

6) How would I be liable to pay back everything if I have copies of all the sender information like address, name, tracking number, check information, and IP addresses of where the e-mail responses are coming from?
1. No.

2. Are you kidding me? Do you not know what a proxy is?

3. Yes. They don't make it THAT obvious. Even people like you wouldn't fall for it if they put NIGERIA. laugh out loud

4. No.

5. It's fake.

6. You took the money. Not the bank's problem what you did with it.
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#12
Quote from mamegoma View Post :
1. No.

2. Are you kidding me? Do you not know what a proxy is?

3. Yes. They don't make it THAT obvious. Even people like you wouldn't fall for it if they put NIGERIA. laugh out loud

4. No.

5. It's fake.

6. You took the money. Not the bank's problem what you did with it.
2. No I don't know what a proxy is. Whatever it is though, I would think that police have a way of reversing the trails of the communications. Otherwise, people would get a way with a lot of harm.

3. What can police do with the address that's listed on the wire transfer or the address where the check came from?


Update:

Well, I got off the phone with the local police and the dispatcher told me without needing to know the details that this is indeed a scam, but all they told me was to ignore communications with them and they don't write a report or investigate unless I actually cashed the check. They don't do anything about it at this time. They told me to stop communications with the "scammer" and to call the three major credit unions to flag my information since I told them the "scammer" has my name, address, and phone number from an e-mail which was how I got the letter in the mail.

I can't figure out how to connect to a rep from these credit unions to flag my information, it's all automated messaging:

experian
888-397-3742

equifax
8005256285

transunion
8006807289


So it doesn't look like I need to do anything. I'm going to keep the mail and e-mails of this "scammer" just in case something happens down the road.
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Last edited by mikenmike0001 March 1, 2013 at 04:56 PM
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#13
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
2. No I don't know what a proxy is. Whatever it is though, I would think that police have a way of reversing the trails of the communications. Otherwise, people would get a way with a lot of harm.

3. What can police do with the address that's listed on the wire transfer or the address where the check came from?


Update:

Well, I got off the phone with the local police and the dispatcher told me without needing to know the details that this is indeed a scam, but all they told me was to ignore communications with them and they don't write a report or investigate unless I actually cashed the check. They don't do anything about it at this time. They told me to stop communications with the "scammer" and to call the three major credit unions to flag my information since I told them the "scammer" has my name, address, and phone number from an e-mail which was how I got the letter in the mail.

I can't figure out how to connect to a rep from these credit unions to flag my information, it's all automated messaging:

experian
888-397-3742

equifax
8005256285

transunion
8006807289


So it doesn't look like I need to do anything. I'm going to keep the mail and e-mails of this "scammer" just in case something happens down the road.
I strongly suggest you do get a hold of the credit bureaus as you most certainly want to flag your information to be on the safe side as identity theft is very serious especially since it is on the rise nowadays. Good luck to you and going forward, if a survey or offer sounds too good to be true, then run, not walk the other way.

Quote from iced-coffee View Post :
I strongly suggest you do get a hold of the credit bureaus as you most certainly want to flag your information to be on the safe side as identity theft is very serious especially since it is on the rise nowadays. Good luck to you and going forward, if a survey or offer sounds too good to be true, then run, not walk the other way.
One other thing, if this happened to be one of the main email addresses you use, make sure you change your password if you have not done so already as you can still be at risk of being hacked since this scam artist can strike again.
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Last edited by iced-coffee March 1, 2013 at 06:28 PM
#14
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
2. No I don't know what a proxy is. Whatever it is though, I would think that police have a way of reversing the trails of the communications. Otherwise, people would get a way with a lot of harm.

3. What can police do with the address that's listed on the wire transfer or the address where the check came from?


Update:

Well, I got off the phone with the local police and the dispatcher told me without needing to know the details that this is indeed a scam, but all they told me was to ignore communications with them and they don't write a report or investigate unless I actually cashed the check. They don't do anything about it at this time. They told me to stop communications with the "scammer" and to call the three major credit unions to flag my information since I told them the "scammer" has my name, address, and phone number from an e-mail which was how I got the letter in the mail.

I can't figure out how to connect to a rep from these credit unions to flag my information, it's all automated messaging:

experian
888-397-3742

equifax
8005256285

transunion
8006807289


So it doesn't look like I need to do anything. I'm going to keep the mail and e-mails of this "scammer" just in case something happens down the road.
If the proxy is sophisticated enough, no, the police cannot reverse it.
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#15
never ever wire money the check is not any good. These lowlifes are scum
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