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PORTLAND (WGME) - It sounds like a perfect job: not a lot of heavy lifting and a decent paycheck, but the I-Team found many mystery shopper jobs are really a scam, costing a lot of people, a lot of money.Some companies do use mystery shoppers to help evaluate the quality of service in their stores; it can be a legit job, but the Federal Trade Commission says at best it's a part time job, and you should never pay money for a mystery shopping assignment.Dwayne Moore was trying to make some extra money on top of his day job so he answered a mystery shopper mailing."You see how they greet you, if you need help finding something how was that sales clerk helping you find something. Then you go to the cashier and write the experience about the cashier," Moore said. He was instructed to go online and rank the service he got. He was told he'd be reimbursed for the money spent. He got a check for more than he spent, so he was told to send the rest back. He did; then the bank contacted him with surprising news. The check was a fraud. Moore owed $1,300. "A bank has up to one year to come after you for different fees or bad checks. And a lot of people aren't aware of that; they think that okay well the check went through, so it must be good and that's not the case," US Postal Inspector Tammy Mayle said. Investigators say you're always responsible for the checks you cash even if they are counterfeit. "The best line of defense is know the source of your check," Mayle said.If you're considering a mystery shopper or work-at-home opportunity, the FTC has some reminders:1. It's unnecessary to pay anyone to get into the mystery shopper business.2. Search for reviews and comments about mystery shopping companies that are accepting applications.3. Also keep in mind, you also don't need a certification to be a mystery shopper.
PORTLAND / CUMBERLAND (WGME) -- Gritty McDuffs is an Old Port staple known for great beer and plenty of finger foods to pick from. The Health Department had advice for staff after they failed a recent inspection.
The inspector cited eight violations, five of which were foodborne illness risk factors, including, "equipment food contact surfaces and utensils are not clean to sight and touch. Specifically, potato cutter not cleaned after use, ice machine needs cleaning".
General Manager Jacob Condon says those problems were corrected on the spot. Condon said, " He told us what we need to do and we do it".
The proof is in the follow up report. Inspectors found no problems. Condon says it's all about keeping customers safe and happy.
"This time of the year there are so many people locally and from far away that come here, we need to keep our name at the top," said Condon.
From swinging clubs to drinks on the deck Val Halla's Golf Course in Cumberland has something for just about everyone. When your done on the course, stop in Rachel's on the Green for a bite to eat.
"We have everything from pizza to haddock to steak," said owner Mike Smith.
Last month, the Health Department found things weren't up to par. Inspectors failed the eatery, citing 11 violations, including "food not contacting only clean equipment and utensils. Specifically, pieces of cardboard from raw bacon boxes used to dry fried foods."
Owner Mike Smith says the inspector's checklist is always changing and he's happy to adapt as well.
Smith said, "He told me what needed to be done and we improved on it".
The inspector returned two weeks later and all problems had been corrected.
A hole in one for the restaurant.
Smith said, "I was very pleased with the perfect score after".
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Here is the latest Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont news from The Associated Press
Latest Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont news, sports, business and entertainment
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