‘Mystery shopping’ scam nets $15K

It’s a mystery

A Chinese scammer tricked a 12th Street man out of nearly $15,000 in a “mystery shopping” Internet swindle earlier this month.

The victim told cops that he received an e-mail invitation to become a “mystery shopper,” a secret customer hired by many reputable companies to monitor their employees.

But in this case, the offer was a scam. The fake employer sent the 45-year-old man, who lives near Sixth Avenue, 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.

In a related story, a Nigerian prince offered several other Park Slopers a chance to invest in oil-rich land in the country’s delta region.

Quick pick

A thief, possibly dressed as a utility worker, snatched a wallet from a woman on Seventh Avenue on Feb. 5.

The victim told cops that she was near 10th Street at around 2:20 pm when someone reached into her pocket and picked out the billfold, which contained various cards.

She didn’t get a good look at the young man, but said he was dressed in a manner that suggested he was on the job.


There were at least three break-ins last week:

• A thief swiped two laptops, gift cards and $200 from an apartment on First Street near Fourth Avenue on Feb. 3. The victim said the break-in must have occurred between 4 and 5 pm.

• A would-be filmmaker swiped thousands in camera equipment from a President Street production company on Feb. 4.

The victims told cops that two thugs entered shortly after 11:15 am and grabbed a fancy camera and accessories before jumping into a silver Ranger Rover and fleeing towards Third Avenue.

Cops are hunting for the car, with a FDX-7339 plate, and two men last seen wearing snorkel jackets. One man is 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, and the other is the same height, but 30 pounds lighter (which is nice for him).

• A thief swiped electronic gizmos from a Fourth Avenue apartment on Feb. 6. The victim said she was not in the unit, which is between Degraw and Sackett streets, between 1:20 and 5:30 pm, when she returned to find a camera, an iPod, a printer, a scanner and speakers missing.

Wheel bad

At least three cars were swiped:

• A 2005 Honda was taken from Seventh Avenue near Sterling Place between 7 and 10 pm on Feb. 4.

• Who wants a 1996 Oldsmobile? A thief did at the corner of 13th Street and Sixth Avenue overnight on Feb. 1, swiping the antediluvian wheels.

• A thief had an easy time stealing a 1994 GMC truck, thanks to a driver who left the keys on the floor of the unlocked vehicle on Sackett Street between Third Avenue and Nevins Street at 8 am on Jan. 31. The truck was gone two hours later.

— Gersh Kuntzman