Has American Consumer Eyes contacted you about a mystery shopping job opportunity?
If so, you are going to want to read this article in full. I’ll show you exactly why these “jobs” aren’t real, but rather a front for a scam operation.
One that could cost you a lot of money, and even put you at risk of identity theft.
What Is American Consumer Eyes?
American Consumer Eyes is a scam that tricks unsuspecting people into cashing fake checks and sending the proceeds to the people behind it.
The victims apply for this “job” looking for a way to earn money as a mystery shopper.
The website (intelligentgraders.com) claims you can earn up to $300 per week as a mystery shopper/ evaluator. All you need to do is signup, and they’ll send you secret shopper tasks to complete. In most cases, this involves you shopping at your local Walmart.
At first glance this site may appear legitimate. But there are a number of red flags.
For starters, the company portrays itself as ‘the’ solution for companies looking for mystery shoppers. However, looking at the finer details and this is clearly not the case.
The following screenshot was taken from their website. This is the MAIN pitch they use to convince businesses to hire them (ie. companies like Walmart):
This is FAR from how a legitimate company in this space operates.
They describe nothing about their services and make claims they have ZERO proof of. Worse, their main call to action is for the mystery shoppers themselves!
And I’m only scratching the surface here…
The ‘contact us’ link takes you to a generic feedback page. With NO address and NO phone number to contact them. And no information about who they are- not even a link to a social media account.
Not only is this extremely poor marketing and highly unprofessional, but how are companies going to contact American Consumer Eyes to hire them?
The answer is- they don’t. Because no legitimate company would hire their services based on this. Period. Let alone companies like Walmart who they claim to be working with.
The reality is, this website is as a front to legitimise the ‘work from home’ offer.
How The American Consumer Eyes Scam Works
The first step is to apply for a job on their website by completing the form…
Within this form, the company asks for a LOT of your personal information. Name, address, phone number, email, age and more.
This is made to appear like you are applying for a job.
However, what you are really doing, is giving ‘someone’ your personal information. And going into their database of people they will contact.
Anyways, there are zero costs to get started. In fact, the company actually sends you money to complete your assignment. Which is precisely why SO many people fall for this.
Surely if it’s free and you are being sent money, how could it be a scam?
Well, to answer this, let me explain the process of how this scam works in more detail.
As mentioned, the first thing you do is apply for a job with American Consumer Eyes Inc (AKA Intelligent Service Graders).
From there, they send you an email about a ‘mystery shopping job’ that is available along with some instructions.
Here’s one such email I found from someone who reported this on Scamalot.com:
They also send you a cashiers check for a varying amount. One you receive the check, your job is then to cash it at your bank, and visit your local Walmart store.
Once at Walmart, your objective is to buy something (like a gift card or product), keep your fee (several hundred) and send them the difference back to the specified account they provide.
So for example if they send you a check for $2,000 you might send them $1500 back when it’s all said and done.
In some cases, they are instructing people to send these funds to ‘another mystery shopper’ via the Walmart Money Center. So you are supposedly testing out these services as part of the job.
In reality though, you are sending the proceeds of the check you received to the people behind this scam.
In yet other cases, you are told to use the funds to purchase iTunes or WalMart gift cards. And after scratching off the code on the back of the card, send them pictures of the card. So they can use the cards themselves.
In any case, whatever “task” they get you to perform, it doesn’t matter.
Because the check always bounces and you are stuck paying that money back to the bank.
If you cannot do so, your credit rating could suffer and you may even face penalties.
How could this happen?
Because when you deposit a cashiers check, it clears right away in most cases. It’s only after a few days (sometimes longer) that the bank confirms the checks legitimacy.
So in this case, it’s only after a few days that the bank realises the check was no good. Which is the point you realise you’ve been scammed.
But it’s too late, because you’ve already spent the money.
Why This Is a Clear Cut Scam
First of all, the way this company operates is enough of a red flag in and of itself.
Legitimate companies do not operate in this manner. Let alone companies supposedly working with trusted brands like Walmart.
And the way the company operates can be confirmed by reading through the various complaints about American Consumer Eyes.
Take this comment posted on ReportScam for example:
I received on 3/1/18 Priority Mail with a letter and a cashier’s check in the amt of $2598.00. The letter had step by step instructions of what to do… I questioned the text number as they told me to go to Walmart and buy iTunes Cards and send pictures of back scratched off… I then started googling and even called my bank and went in to show them what I received and told them I deposited but have not used or done any transactions. They told me it was a scam.
You can also find other complaints on the following threads:
Second, this is a very common scam, known as cashiers check fraud. This same scam has been running for many years under different names. But the way it works is the same or similar. I recommend doing some research on Google if you want to confirm what I am saying here. There are tons of articles and reports about this type of scam online.
Third, this is a clone of the long running Walmart mystery shopping scam. Walmart itself actively warns people about this scam on their website, which I show you in the above article.
Fourth, the way in which this companymy research revealed many complaints from people outlining their experience with this scam. Proving the true intentions of this company and how it really operates.
Also, feel free to leave a comment below if you want to share your experience.
The Inherent Risk of Identity Theft
Apart from losing money to this scam, there is a very real risk of identity theft.
The form you complete on their site, along with other information they probe from you via email or phone, is giving these people everything they need to steal your identity. Not to mention you are wiring them money which is giving them even more information about you.
Identity theft is big business online and it can cost you a lot more than you might think. Once someone has enough to pose as you, they can borrow money as if they are you, log into your accounts, and carry out any number of illicit activities.
I seriously do not recommend giving these people your personal information.
American Consumer Eyes is a scam. They pretend to offer people a legitimate home based job as a mystery shopper. But their true intention is getting you to cash a fake check and send them the proceeds.
Which means you lose money when the check bounces.
It’s unfortunate that these types of scams exist. But the reality is they do. So the best form of defence is by doing your homework as you are now and warning others you know.