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After responding to a Craigslist ad for a local focus group I received this email: Dear Applicant, W
23rd of Jan, 2010 by User102743
After responding to a Craigslist ad for a local focus group I received this email: Dear Applicant, We regret to inform you that the Craigslist focus group you signed up for filled up faster than we anticipated. However, we have another study holding this week that also pays $300. Below is more information on the study and how you can participate.Groupnet is a leading research and consulting firm that helps corporate and not-for-profit organizations channel insights into more effective communication, stronger customer relationships, and new solutions for multi-faceted business challenges. Our company helps organizations learn how to succeed – strengthening brand reputations, improving communication, enhancing customer relationships, influencing behavior change, adopting best practices, changing or re-engineering approaches, and launching new initiatives at a grassroots community level or on a worldwide basis.Our company is currently conducting a survey on MoneyGram Agent Locations to help measure and improve effectiveness of the services offered to customers, this is as a result of complaints from some of MoneyGram repeat customers about the behavior and orderliness of most MoneyGram outlets.The survey will require that you visit a MoneyGram Agent Location in your area and evaluate the services they render as a customer, you will thereafter give us feed back on your overall experience by filling out a simple questionnaire. Each survey takes a maximum of 1hr to complete and you will be paid $300 for every evaluation completed, No Sales Involved and this will not inconvenience your present occupation.If you are interested in participating, please send us a reply with your information in the following orderFull Names :Contact Address :Phone Number :Email address :Present occupation :We'll get back to you after receiving this information to confirm your participation in the survey. Surveys fill up fast and participation is on a first come first serve basis. Yours faithfully, Gary Jones 415-315-9809 Research Analyst Groupnet LLC After sending a response I received this: Good Morning, This email confirms you have been selected as our Survey / Evaluation agent in your area. You will be evaluating MoneyGram Agent Location in your neighborhood and the survey date is February 2nd, 2011. Please note that you will be required to visit a MoneyGram outlet within your neighborhood to evaluate their business services as a customer and give us feedback on your overall customer experience with them by completing a questionnaire. Funds to cover all expenses needed to conduct this survey and your $300 compensation will be delivered to you on the above date via Express mail. Further information on how to proceed will follow via email. Respond ASAP to this email on your acceptance and willingness to carry out the survey with your Full Name, Mailing Address, City, state, Zip Code and Phone Number where the funds and guidelines to completing the survey should be mailed to. Thank you for choosing to participate and hope to hear from you today. Yours faithfully, Gary Jones 415-315-9809 Research Analyst Groupnet LLC I then emailed "Gary" back letting him know that I would be unable to do the evalution due to being snowed-in in another town and that I had questions. He wrote back this blanket email: Good Morning, Funds for the MoneyGram Evaluation will be delivered to your address this morning by our courier service. Follow the below instructions to complete the Evaluation.1.1 Deduct your compensation of $300 after cashing the received Check at your Bank.1.3 Deduct another $150 for transfer fees and any other expenses i.e gas or transport.Find the nearest MoneyGram outlet in your zip code to evaluate and pose as a customer making a wire transfer to a relative in CA. Make a wire transfer of the remainder funds after deduction of your compensation and other expenditures to the below information. Receivers Name: Mario TenagliaDestination: Los Angeles CA 90027Be sure to observe how long it took you to get services, Smartness of the attendant and Customer service professionalism during the transfer process and Under no circumstances should the MoneyGram Agents know this evaluation is being carried out on them. Email me as soon as you make the transfer with the following information;Reference #, Amount Sent, Name And Address Of Sender.A questionnaire form regarding your overall experience with MoneyGram will be emailed to you after we receive the transfer information.Thank you and get back to me as soon as the survey is completed today. Your faithfully, Gary Jones When I returned home, I received the above email and an USPS envelope with a check inside. It was made payable to me for $2650. The issuer was Allstate Life Insurance Company and it came from a Norman Stevens at 1600 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017. Of course I was already feeling apprehensive so I again emailed Gary stating that I had questions regarding this process and needed to be contacted immediately. He never contacted me. I am assuming he wanted the process to go like this: I get the check, cash it with my bank, complete the evalution and then find out the check did not clear and I'm out the $2,650 minus my pay. I shredded the check.

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