SECURITY ALERT: New instances of the "secret shopper" scam


CSIT has reports this morning that new instances of the “secret shopper” scam have been received in numerous NWU mailboxes.  These new instances originate from two compromised NWU accounts and, therefore, may seem superficially to be more trustworthy than they might otherwise.

The current instances of this email scam may originate from either of two NWU addresses, but each is identical.  The Subject of the message is “NWU REWARDING & FLEXIBLE SUMMER JOB OFFER”, suggesting that the message is in some way endorsed by the University.  The body of the message claims that the recipient has been selected as a “shadow shopper” for their region and promises a flexible, rewarding job with no sign up fee and no interference with current employment.  It also provides a link which, if followed, leads to a site soliciting contact information.

Unlike phishing scams, the secret shopper scam is not an attempt to immediately compromise your account or trick you into revealing confidential information.  It is rather an attempt to engage you with the scammer as they enlist you to make purchases (supposedly to evaluate stores and services)  and transfer the value of the purchased items to the scammer.  The “money” you are advanced to make the purchases subsequently turns out to be fraudulent.

If you have received any email of the sort described above, please delete it immediately.  If you have already acted on such an email message, stop communicating with the scammer immediately.