Mystery Shopping Job Scam Foiled

Mystery Shopping Do you remember seeing an ad for mystery shoppers and thinking, "I could get paid for one of my favorite pastimes? It sounds too good to be true!" Well, it was. A California man who swindled hopeful shoppers out of $6 million has just been sentenced to six years in federal prison.

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

Stevan Todorovic, 40, of Santa Inez, Calif., was convicted of seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud. His bogus company was known as the Consumer Response Group, and advertised "mystery shopping" jobs in newspapers across the United States. All it took to get these jobs, the ads claimed, was passing a certification program, which the company would provide, along with job referrals, for a fee. The average respondent lost about $71.

Todorovic set up his sham companies in Santa Barbara, and didn't just limit them to mystery shopping -- in addition he was convicted of advertising the phony American Bartending Institute, which also sold phony training programs and certifications. Although the ads claimed there were plenty of jobs available in both bartending and mystery shopping, and that a list of likely employers would be included, none of lists were legitimate.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said 87,400 people had been victimized by the scam. They probably won't get their money back, but at least Todorovic will no longer be able to prey on job seekers.

Next: Companies Hiring This Week

Related Stories from Fins Finance

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell


Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Deacon Jack

It is true that there are many scams that tout making money at home and people fall for them because they are looking for an easy way to make money without really working for it. Obviously, in order to make money you must work hard. I have found a way to make money but you really have to work. The harder you work this business the more you can make. It's that simple...not easy. The best thing is that your get a lot of support. They say you are in business for yourself but never by yourself. Works for me! Check out You'll be glad you did.

April 07 2011 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If it sounds to good to be true then sorry to say it is. How can people fall for such a scam? I feel sorry for the victims at least this man will spend the rest of his life in prison. Making money on the computer or for jobs that claim you can make money at home I believe thats a scam also.

April 07 2011 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 27 - Aug 3

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.


Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.