Tips to Identify a Scam Email

Scam emails, also known as phishing emails, often feature the following:

  • Legitimate company logos and return addresses,
  • Phone numbers such as 1-800 numbers.
  • Will use real employee names from a company
  • Emails addresses and websites will use similar variation of the company’s website or email address

Small Changes to websites and email addresses:  This is usually the first and best tip-off that something is not legitimate.

Email Example:

  • Legit:  jade@schlesingergroup.com
  • Fraud:  jade@schlesingergrp.com (group truncated)

Mouse over a hyperlink to see actual address vs what is displayed, hyperlink example:

Spelling and grammar:  If you’re looking at an email with a lot of spelling or grammatical errors, it may be a scam.

  • Legit:  “It has come to our attention that your account may need to be updated”
  • Fraud:  “It has come to our attentions that you’re accoutns has need to be updated”

Mass mailings:  If you receive an email and there are a ton of other recipients listed in the “to” or “cc” fields, chances are it’s a scam.

Punctuation or overuse of CAPS:  Beware of emails that try to get your attention by using all capital letters, especially in the subject line.  Over-the-top emotional content or messages of dire warnings may be a scam.

  • Legit:  “You’re Invited: Shopping research happening Between 18-Jan-2018 and 22-Jan-2018”
  • Fraud: “URGENT RESEARCH!!!!!  MUST RESPOND IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!”

Receiving money unprompted:   Payments are usually provided after you have completed a task.  If you are receiving a payment without any prior knowledge or approval, this is most likely a scam.

Here is an example of a recent scam that used our name and logo and highlights some of the tips above.  If you have received something similar, it is not validScanned

One final tip: Don’t respond to a spam emailBy doing so, you confirm that your email account is active and could receive even more spam as a result.

If you are unsure of an email’s authenticity and it appears to be from Schlesinger Group or Inspired Opinions, forward the email to help@inspiredopinions.com and we will provide confirmation of the validity.

Posted by Inspired Opinions

23 Comments

  1. Just received this exact same check today from a Anthony Hawkins Ph.D, Survey Evaluation Co -Ordinator. Thought it was too good to be true. Into the trash it went. I received my assignment via text message. The check was from Chevron Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 2069, Oakland, CA for $2950. The letter was mailed from Schlesinger Group in Midland TX which I thought was odd right off the bat. Will be reporting it.

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  2. thanks guys for sharing. i just received a letter today with a check of 2990$. iwas going to take the check to the bank and see if its legit, but after reading all these post am 100 percent sure that it is a fraud even if the bank says the check is legit!! i was suspicious from the minute that i opened and saw the check. i didn’t want to deposit the check and i don’t do any of their tasks! noone has ever received a check before doing a task in America!

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  3. Just received a check for $2950 from Phillip Pullman of the Schlesinger”s”group and a request to purchase two iPhones from the Apple store after the check clears. Their last request was “Send us a text immediately you make purchase” Pretty poor english huh! And a phone # 214-617-2401. Needless to say I won’t be doing any of the above.

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    1. I received the same.
      Big check with request to buy iPhones.
      This is the 3rd such attempt to scam me but I wasn’t born yesterday.

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  4. I received offer and large check from company calling itself Schlesingersgroup. Obviously a scam.I will report to the FCC.

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  5. i got a letter in the mail 5/22/2018 saying apple store mystery shopping survey assignment,form schlesinger group p.o.box 4354 martindale tx 78655-0285 they ,send three money order for $996.00,am was to evaluating the apple store ,buy apple store gift card for $1,400.00-and $1,200.00,after buying card they want me to scam number on back of card and send it to them,text to 781-386-2631.i would gtet further instruction on were to send card the next day.they have try emailing me to send informtion i have not did yet.can you help me

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    1. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention! Schlesinger Group/ Inspired Opinions is not offering a mystery shop of this kind! We did NOT mail this to you nor are we affiliated with this in any way.

      We have alerted the appropriate parties about this. You can report the scam by selecting the following link:
      https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/GettingStarted?NextQID=213&Url=%23%26panel1-2#crnt

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  6. Judy M Bartley April 24, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I was recently caught up in this scam, the guy texted me from a number 305-204-3694 said his name was David McKenzie from Schlesinger group and informed me I had a shop coming to me in the mail and to look out for it. When I received the mail, enclosed was a check stating that all was taken care of for this job, and I just needed to deposit the check in my account and purchase the Itunes gift cards from an authorized retailer. And I deposited it in my account, $2990.00 and since my bank is good about fraud alerts, I only ended up out $900 after all was said and done, but being I am on a fixed income and a disabled veteran this makes it hard for me to support my household and get my bills paid.

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    1. What is your bank? can you please tell me the process

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  7. Unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky. Just lost $2600 today in Apple gift cards. I figured it out about two hours after I sent them everything. They’re still waiting on an iTunes card that’ll never arrive. We’re closing on a house, this hurts, but karma takes care of everything. We’ll be ok, but we’re in disbelief that we fell for it. Moving on….

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  8. Richard McGinley March 19, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Unbelievable ! I too received a $2,985.00 check, from the phony Schlesinger company ! I also deposited this check in my Credit-union account, on a Wednesday. My CU even said the check looked legitimate & everything. And they said it’ll take 3-days to “Clear”. So by Friday the funds should be abailable. And of course my CU being so trusting, allowed $400 of the newly $2,985.00 deposited check to be available immediately. Again, this was on Wednesday. By Saturday, I checked my account via ATM, and the $400 was still avIlable. And because of this check, my balance had increased by $2,985.00. It was VERY tempting to w/draw the initial $400 via the ATM I was at. But, that little honest voice inside my head said to “LEAVE IT ALONE”. Ha ! Ha ! So, I left it alone ! And sure enough, Monday came, and I assume that my CU did their check into the $2,985.00 check & its funds, and found out that the check & funds were bogus, so they got rid of the check & removed the $2,895.00 from my account ! I have yet to call my CU to find out what happend exactly. This all happend over the w-end. And I checked my acct late Monday, (Today) again, using an ATM. It was too late to call my CU. So I’ll call them tkmorrow (Tuesday) to find out the details. What a shame that there are sooo many super-dishonest people out there. So, a small part of me wanted that check to be real. But ya know that old saying & rule of thumb….”If it seems to good to be true…..ya damn right its NOT TRUE” !!! AND THERES NO EXCEPTIONS TO THAT RULE !

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  9. I received the exact letter in the mail with a check in the amount of $2,980. I did deposit the check in my bank and wait for it to clear but they put a stop payment on it. I was truly excited to become a secret shopper and it looked legit after I googled the company. Thank goodness I didn’t do anything and begin any of the tasks it wanted me to do.

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    1. I ALSO RECIEVED THE EXACT SAME CHECK, BUT HAVE NOT YET DEPOSITED IT INTO MY ACCT. I HAVE BEEN HESITANT FOR A FEW DAYS NOW AND WILL NOT BE DEPOSITING THIS CHECK AFTER READING THIS.

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  10. Thank you guys I cant believe people go this far like how would they even receive money from this scam, mmmmm maybe to get all of your information crazy!!!!! thanks Schlesinger (Inspired Opinions)

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  11. Thank you for the Heads up , truly appreciated .

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  12. Betty Ling Thank you so much for the information. I love Schlesinger and would hate to be duped by a phony, Appreciate the info..

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  13. Thank you so very much for sharing this vital information with us. I’m going to share it with my family.

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  14. I will now be watching for them armed with this valuable information. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT INFORMATION. I ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT HOW TO SPOT A SCAM EMAIL. THANKS AGAIN!

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  16. Thank you so much for doing this!

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  17. thanks for this very valuable information. This will help me better filter my inbox.

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  18. I recently received one that was supposed to be from Wells Fargo!! Looked legitimate, even down to clicking on the security site!

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  19. Thank you, for the lesson I think this makes me think before I act

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