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Shakedowns

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Being a mystery shopper sounds like the easiest job in the world: Stroll into stores, pretend to browse, and then report back to the owners about the customer service. But as the Brooklyn Paper reminds us, if it's that easy, it's probably a scam. Today's crime section includes the sad tale of a Park Slope resident who was swindled out of almost $15,000 after he replied to an email invitation asking him to become a mystery shopper. How it worked: "The fake employer sent the 45-year-old man...money orders totalling $14,689 and told him to deposit them, keep $100 for the first assignment, and send back the rest of the money via Western Union. But the money orders turned out to be counterfeit—and the man lost virtually everything." [BP]