Consumer Alert: Walmart secret shopping offer is really elaborat - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Consumer Alert: Walmart secret shopping offer is really elaborate scam

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Scammers are reportedly targeting Walmart shoppers in San Diego.

A Clairemont couple got an offer in the mail asking them to be part of a secret shopper program, but it was too good to be true.

"It's U.S. mail priority mail with a letter and check for $1,600," said Mike Fishell who reported the scam letter.

Printed on Walmart letterhead, the detailed letter reads, in part:

Dear Participant, Congrats you've been pre-qualified for the community research secret shopper program.

"You saw Walmart, we say 'Walmart? OK, I go to Walmart all the time, but it wasn't [from] Walmart," said Dante Fishell who received the scam letter.

Dante's name was written on the envelope and the $1,690 check.

"It just didn't seem legit," said Mike Fishell.

The Clairemont couple caught on especially after the note said to deposit the check in your bank account, keep $300 for yourself and use Moneygram to wire $1,310 back to Joe Marcum of Atlanta, Georgia.

"The fact that they want us to actually send back money is what kind of caught our attention," said Mike.

Walmart issued a statement about the scam letters saying:

We care deeply about our customers and have procedures in place to help protect them from criminal behavior. We frequently review our prevention measures.

As policy, we never solicit mystery shoppers via e-mail, mail or any other public means.

The Fishell's warn those who receive this type of letter:

"Don't assume it's correct, don't assume it's good," said Mike Fishell. "Call the bank."

"Don't cash it because you don't know what's waiting for you on the other end," added Dante.

Visit Walmart's fraud protection page here.


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