‘Mystery Shopper’ check scams targeting Acadiana residents

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A secret shopper scam is targeting consumers in Acadiana.

One consumer received a fake check claiming to be from a reputable company.

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “This type of check scam is a secret shopper scam. It makes the consumer feel as though they’ve been selected to be a secret shopper… an easy way to make a considerable amount of money, and in the end, they’re trying to pay you upfront with a fake check that’s going to result in you losing a lot of funds.”

One Lafayette resident received a fake check in the mail for over $2,500 to be a mystery shopper at a local Walmart.

Walmart is aware of this type of scam, and says in part, “Walmart does not utilize these services or hire associates to perform services on behalf of other retailers or companies.”

“What’s going to happen is the check’s not going to be real so it’s not going to clear, but they want them to do is deposit that in their personal bank account just in this instance. Take a portion for yourself just like any other fake check scam. This check was for $2,650,” explained Babin.

The scam letter the consumer received claiming to be from Walmart stated, “If or when asked if you are mystery shopper, answer… no.” The BBB says that right there is a giveaway scammers are taking advantage of a reputable company.

“For one, if you look at the letter, the English is pretty poorly written on there. The Walmart logo is pretty grainy and distorted at the top, and then, they don’t use much specific information,” added Babin.

Some tips from the BBB on how to avoid this scam:

  • No company will pay you before you work.
  • Don’t respond or open unsolicited emails asking you to become a mystery shopper.
  • Never deposit a check you receive in the mail from a “mystery shopping” company.

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