Secret Shopper Scams: Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.,

Scam Shopping Deals: Offers You Should Refuse!
Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.,

Did you receive an email inviting you to become a "mystery shopper"? possibly from a "Barry Cole" at Visibility Evaluation Inc.?  As near as we can tell, there is no real company with that name. The actual emails below, between a victim and someone using the name "Barry Cole" show how the scam works. In sort, it is a fake check cashing scam. "Barry" will send you counterfeit checks to cash for him, and the "mystery shopper" will send money from those checks to "Barry".  By the time the checks bounce (which can take weeks, if they are counterfeits drawn on stolen account information), Barry will have the money, be gone forever, and the victim will be left to pay back the bank, and possibly face criminal charges.

An example of this is Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc. Other aliases used are:

  • Mart at  Visibility Evaluation Inc.

which sends you an email that implies that want to compensate or pay you to be a secret shopper, also called a mystery shopper.  In fact, it is simply a scam.

Here is an example of the email they send.  Look for the typical clues to a scam:

  • Poor grammar, spelling, punctuation, improper capitalization and odd syntax (a real business would proofread several times and make sure it is close to perfect before sending a single email)
  • Often the is no website for the business, which in this era, is very odd, to say the least.
  • No contact phone number (or it goes straight to a recording) and no physical address, or an implausible address (eg, in the Trump Tower).
  • Urgency - you are told you must act very quickly.
  • And of course, the number 1 sign: "wire transfers", "Western Union", "MoneyGram", and you will "accept payments", or "transfer funds".

See this page for more information about Mystery Shopper scams.

Remember, scammers use the names or real, legitimate business and people, without their knowledge, so even if there is a real company with the same name  as one in the email (such as Visibility Visibility Evaluation Inc., or Barry Cole), they have nothing to do with the scam or scammer.  Scammers use real names they obtain from phone books, online, or in the physical world, to make their scams appear more believable!  The scammers are usually based in other countries (typically Nigeria, China, Russia and even Canada) where they are safe from US law enforcement.

Here is an example of the Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.  scam:

I applied for a mystery shopper job and they sent me a fake check and tried to get me to cash it.  Below is all the emails:

The emails the victim (we changed her identifying information and name to "Angel Doe") received, starting with the most recent and moving backwards:

From the scammer:

Dear Angel Doe , 

I tried calling you, but anytime you pick the call it always end after some seconds.(435-275-2277)

Top of the day to you, i will like to inform you that the first payment from our client is ready and you will be receiving $7,350 as first payment which you will be entitle to 10% of the first payment which is $735. Mind you it is for a start, your % will be increased when we see how hard working and truthworthy you are willing to render here.

Below is the delivery details of the check via fedex, you can visit there website and have it track immediately, so that you will know exactly when the check will arrive your address, immediately you receive it send an email and proceed to the bank or anyother place you feel secured for the cashing of the check. Mind you because it is cashier's check, it can be cash immediately.

Courier service for delivery : Fedex ( Tracking Number : 863500705446 Amount on check : $ 7350 once you cashed the check and remove your 10%($735) then with the balance of ($6,615), split the money into 2 half and send it to the details below via western union .

Western Union Details

1st half transaction:

Receivers Name: Dauda Yusuf

City: Cotonou

Country: Republic of Benin

Text Question: pet name?

Answer: Rasher

Amount for 1st half:?


2nd half transaction:

Receivers Name: Dauda Yusuf

City: Cotonou

Country: Republic of Benin

Text Question: pet name?

Answer: Rasher

Amount for 2nd half:?


The details will be use to send the money in 2 places, so as soon as you have that done, forward me the western union details of the 2 transaction.

The reason why we have a change of where you will be forwarding the payment after cashing is because after the Holidays we have lots of changes in our company, so that is the main reason why, so take note..Our former account officer that you have the infomation with you as gone on other assignment, so we are still trying to send a good one across, so pending the time for us to put everything back in place, use the one you have the information abaove.

Mind you, western union fees will be deduct from the remaining balance, NOT FROM YOUR 10% .everything is set to move, because immediately this is been process fast, you will be issue another check for $14,000 or more, so that is how it will be , as long as you are loyal and trusthworthy.

Our client are waitinng to make advance payment for us.

Please reply me for mail acknowledgement.

Regards and Happy Holidays.

Mr Barry Cole.

On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 9:26 PM, <> wrote:

I recived your email and are waiting for the tracking number.

From the scammer:

From: Barry Cole <>

To: "" <>


Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 14:28:50 +0100

Hello Angel Doe ,

Happy Holidays and Welcome to the New Year.

We are really sorry about the delay we have been experiencing for some weeks now, but am writen you to give you good news, we have correct all errors and block our loop holes, so now new payment will be re- issued out from our client today and you will be receiving it by tomorrow.

As soon as our client as notified us that the payment has be mailed to you, we will provide you with the internet tracking number , that you will use for the monitoring of the package to know the exact time it will arrive your address and it will be delivered via fedex courier service.

Mind you, all previous information about where you will be sending payment after cashing given to you before as been changed, and we will update it for you when sending you details for the package..PLEASE TAKE NOTE.

The payment you are receiving is cashier's check which is cashable imediately and further instrustions will be given to you when we have confirm the necessary details for the package.

Please confirm the receipt of my mail.


On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 5:53 PM, <> wrote:

good morning.  I am still waiting on it. i am hopeing today, but my post dosen't come untill 11:30.

From the scammer:

From: Barry Cole < >

To: "" <>


Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 10:11:18 +0100

Good morning,

I think you might be experiencing some difficulties in the delivery of the check due to the christmas holiday but surely you should receive it soon or have you received it?

Thank you,

Barry Cole

On 12/24/09, <> wrote:

> okay

From the scammer:

From: Barry Cole <>

To: "" <>


Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 10:06:55 +0000


Ok,very good.Today is thursday and i think the payment should have

arrived or anytime soon.Please notify when you have it.

Barry Cole


On 12/21/09, <> wrote:

Yes i recived your last email and am waiting on payment

From the scammer:

From: Barry Cole <>

To: "" <>


Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 16:27:32 +0100


Hello, How are you doing? This is just a quick message to you if you received my last email.Please contact ASAP so we can know you are still active. Thanks, Barry Cole


On 12/15/09, <>

Thank you for the opportunity. I am looking forward to start work.


From the scammer:

From: Barry Cole <>

To: "" <>


Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 08:36:49 +0100

Dear Shopper,

Your application has been received, reviewed and has been approved by our customer service. Through extensive background checks, your information has been reviewed and processed.It is a pleasure to inform you that you have been cleared to receive employment from our company.Your address and City code has been ran through our system, and as soon as we have any duty which you would have to carry out, you would be informed.Due to an increasing amount of clients, time constraints, and overall work volume, the letter of employment which you would have to sign would be sent to you on a later date, but before then you can resume your duty as a Secret shopper. After you get the letter, you must print, sign, scan and send it back as soon as possible. In the mean time, you have been given temporary work status.


Once you receive and send back the employment letter, your status will be updated. You will first start out handling smaller shopping contracts and when you have displayed an ability to perform at an augmented level, you will start to oversee larger activities and this would also mean an increase in your payment.There will be some tax documents you would have to file for and register with either the United States. (It would be sent along with the letter) For the mean time, YOU CAN START. You would also be given extra funds in a case where by you are evaluating or studying the activities of a place where spending is required by you. Example is a Restaurant, clothing store,western union outlet,money gram outlet, a bar or a situation where by mobility is required by you. Respond with your thoughts and comments as soon as possible.Congratulations!!! As a reminder, every activity of Secret shoppers remains a secret between you and your employees. As the company reserves the right to every documentation and information which you gather on behalf of the company.Please confirm (Acknowledge) receipt of this email, by writing back.Payment that you would process would be sent to you as soon as possible and update about the payment would be sent to you.


Yours Sincerely,

Barry Cole


On 12/14/09, <>

My full name is Angel Doe

My address is: 781 N. Valleyview Dr. APT 24 NY, NY. My phone number is: 201-375-2277 My E-Mail is: I am very intrested in this job. I would love a chance to do something like this. I am home most of the time so it dose not make a differance in how you contact me.

The original SCAM email from the scammer:

From: Barry Cole <>


Subject: Mystery Shopper!!!!

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 15:23:06 -0600



(A Division of Harvey Consulting)

605 Madeline Jane Ln.

Reno, Nv 89503

Company Registration No. - 14-4392289 VAT Registration No. - 747 4911 15

Dear Applicant,

     We have a job opening for the position of Mystery Shopper officer.Would you like to work from your home and get paid weekly? We are offering this position to all interested applicants. Please carefully read through.

     VISIBILITY EVALUATION, INC is a well established Evaluating Firm,We are a company that conduct surveys and evaluate other companies. We get hired to go to other peoples companies and act like customers in order to know how the staffs are handling their services in relation to their customers. once we have a contract to do, so you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given the funds you need to do the job(either purchase things or require services), after which you would write a comment on the staffs activities and give a detailed record of your experience.

     Mystery shopping involves providing anonymous feedback to companies about the customer experience at their locations. Companies use mystery shopping programs for many reasons, but all programs involve evaluating whether the company's standards are being met .During a typical mystery shop, a mystery shopper will make observations at a specific store, restaurant, or other type of location, while blending in like an average customer. They will then report their observations to Global Evaluation through an email contact that will be given to you or the Experience Exchange.

Examples of details you would forward to us are ;

1) How long it took you to get services.

2) Smartness of the attendant

3)Customer service professionalism

4)Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they react to clients when they get tensed(under pressure).

       Most companies employ our assistance when people give complaints about their services, or when they feel there are needs for them to improve their customer service. Your Identity would be kept confidential as the job states (secret shopper) you would be paid 10% for every survey you carry out, and bonus on your transportation allowance, and funds would be given to you if you have to dine as part of the duty.

       Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of shops, stores, restaurant and services in your area. No commitment is made on this job, and you would have flexible hours as it suits you.

If you are interested get back to us with information below information , so that we can add your mailing address to our Regional database.

First name :

Middle name :

Last name :

Address Line 1 : (NO P.O BOX)

Address Line 2 :

City :   State :   Zip/Postal code :   Home phone :   Cell phone :

Email :

YOUR PREFERRED MODE OF COMMUNICATION EITHER BY PHONE OR BY EMAIL Your response to this email is needed , so that we can reconfirm your mailing address details we have in our database.We will be updating you as soon as the payment is being sent to you and you will be directed as to where to have the remaining 90% of the money sent to, after the deduction of your 10% pay on every survey you carry out all other Instructions will be sent out to you as soon as Evaluation will commences A swift acknowledgment of the receipt of this email will be appreciated.

Thanks For Your Total Understanding.

Barry Cole.

Human Resources Manager

Visibility Evaluation Inc.

Technical Investigation: provides the following information about uuu:


The Better Business Bureau has this to say about Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.:


CFR's Recommendation:

AVOID Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.! Do NOT sign up for it!

How to file a complaint against Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.

To file a complaint against them, go to the BetterBusinessBureau and click on "file a complaint". For the details, like name and address of the business, use the information below:

Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.

What to do and How to Report the Scam:

Anytime a scam involves a cashier's check, official check, or money order from a financial institution and you believe that it could be counterfeit, you should contact the issuing bank directly to report receipt of the check and to verify authenticity. Only the issuing bank can verify the authenticity of the item. When contacting the bank, do NOT use the telephone number provided on the instrument, as this number is generally not associated with the financial institution but rather with the scam artist.

To locate a bank's contact information, you can check the FDIC's website at:

Consumers who receive a counterfeit or fictitious item and associated material should report it or file complaints with the following government agencies, as appropriate:

Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the attention of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) may be forwarded by email to:

or by mail to

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division, MS 6-4
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219

or Fax: (202) 874-5214

What are victims saying about Barry Cole, Visibility Evaluation Inc.?

See this page for emails and comments from victims!

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.