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North Iowan answers Mason City Shopper ad that turns out to be scam


This news story was published on December 31, 2013.
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Mason City Shopper

Dozens of Mason City Shopper newspapers, found in a dumpster in 2012

MASON CITY – For those of you left out there that receive a Mason City Shopper, you may want to beware of answering ads without keeping your guard up.

According to the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office, a North Iowa resident came to the sheriff’s office Monday to report a fraudulent money order that he received after responding to an ad for an undercover shopper in the Mason City Shopper newspaper.

According to a document provided to NIT by Sheriff Kevin Pals, the person who reported the scam had responded to the Shopper advertisement that sought a part time / online / mystery shopper.  In an email from the apparent scammer, the respondent is thanked for “your quick response in helping to start this transaction.”

The man who responded to the advertisement received what appeared to be a money order for $975 in the mail.  The man then took the money order to his bank, which declared it to be a fake.

The $975 was to be an up-front “payment.”  The respondent would keep $150 for “observing” and then “evaluating” a Wal-Mart and a Western Union branch, then forward about $800 to another mystery shopper through Western Union to a man in Chicago.  The scam appeared to be that  the respondent would forward payment to the next mystery shopper before he discovered that the money order is bogus.

“Most people never fall for the scam,” Sheriff Pals said.

Once the snow melts, thousands of Mason City Shoppers will be exposed, rotting in the grass and streets of the city.  If you pick one up, be very careful about responding to ads.

Once the snow melts, thousands of Mason City Shoppers will be exposed, rotting in the grass and streets of the city. If you pick one up, be very careful about responding to ads.

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7 Responses to North Iowan answers Mason City Shopper ad that turns out to be scam

  1. Avatar

    50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

    January 1, 2014 at 10:24 am

    like I stated once before. gather up all those unwanted papers and throw them back on the lawn of the globe or its managers lawn

  2. Avatar

    Paul Lynde Reply Report comment

    January 1, 2014 at 5:53 am

    They never deliver the shopper to our house, even though we called them more then once to get it. So some people that want them get none, and empty houses get the rest. Sounds a little horny to me, but what do I know, hehe

    • Avatar

      Roobee Roooo Reply Report comment

      January 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      There’s probably 100’s of them decaying in the yards surrounding your house. If you want one so bad, just go pick one up outof the gutter. Or maybe try the dumpsters at the recycling place, lots of ’em in there.

  3. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    You can see them in front yards and the street up and down east state st. too.

    • Avatar

      skipper smells like musty cabbage Reply Report comment

      December 31, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Right. The Globe has a license to litter all over the city. They should be prosecuted under the nuisance codes we just adopted.

      • Avatar

        L.G. Reply Report comment

        January 1, 2014 at 12:34 am

        It does you no good to complain, they do not stop delivery. In the rare cases they do stop it it lasts till a new delivery person starts up again. It’s virtually impossible to get them from littering in Albert Lea and Austin. One guy so so mad he collected all of his and others laying in the street and yards and dumped them in the Shoppers parking lot!

  4. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    They throw those damn shoppers everywhere. I house next to us was empty all summer and we told the delivery girl that no one lived there. Didn’t matter, they threw one in the yard anyway.