A resident of Forked River was recently the victim of an “elaborate fraud operation,” police said.
The victim received a letter in the mail from CTI Synovate, Inc. stating that he had been selected to participate in a national “secret shopper” campaign.
Attached to the letter was a $1,995 check and instructions directing the individual to activate the check online at www.synovateinc.com. The victim was to deposit the check into their bank account and begin working as a secret shopper.
The first assignment was for the “secret shopper” to wire funds from a local Western Union Branch.
If all of the steps are completed on the same day, money will be wired from the victim’s own checking accounts to locations overseas. In this Lacey case, the victim did not complete the steps within the same day. As a result, he lost $300 rather than $1,995.
“This scam, like most elaborate ones, appears to be facially valid, however upon further investigation the receiver of the letter will observe several spelling and grammatical errors contained within it,” Patrolman Pete Donahue said. “This scam is also dangerous because the receiver will find an elaborate website that was set up in an attempt to reinforce a belief that the company is legitimate.”
Police are advising residents not to deposit suspicious checks into their bank accounts or wire money outside of the country, without knowing where the money is going.
Contact Donahue at 609-693-6036 with any questions, concerns or to report being a victim of the same scam.