If you receive a hefty check in the mail claiming to be from Walmart, don’t get too thrilled because it’s definitely not what you think. Apparently, it’s the latest scam circulating and the fraudulent windfall could actually do more damage than good.
According to Opposing Views, many Americans around the country have been receiving checks claiming to be from Walmart for thousands of dollars. Although the mysterious checks — which looks like authentic payments from the notable retailer — are just in time for the holiday season, it’s imperative that you do not attempt to cash the check.
According to Terry Ambrose, the Walmart check is part of a new scam. It has been reported that a woman named Jeri Lindsay received the mysterious check in the mail. She explained that the hefty check, amounting to almost $2,000, comes with a letter from a Walmart partnering company asking if the recipient would like to be a secret shopper or a customer service “evaluator,” which is technically the same job.
But even if you decide to “work” for the company, cashing the big Walmart check won’t be as easy as depositing it into your bank account. The letter also comes with instructions and requirements the selected recipient will need to follow in order to receive the funds.
The recipient must go to the website listed on the letter and register to become a secret shopper. In addition to basic information such as a name and contact information, the site also asks for the recipient’s driver’s license number and social security number in order to “activate the check” so the funds can be made available upon cashing the Walmart check.
However, that’s not all. Things actually get worse once the Walmart check is deposited. The scammers also gain access to the recipient’s account information and drain the account. Although Jeri found the opportunity appealing, luckily she caught on before being duped.
“I got a check and a letter in the mail from ‘Walmart’ asking if I wanted to be a secret shopper or Customer service evaluator,” Jeri Lindsey reported, according to Terry Ambrose. “The check was for almost $2000. DO NOT DO THIS!”
Don’t get duped like I almost did,” Jeri added. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
The scam has reportedly become so widespread over the past couple months that Walmart has taken the time to address the situation with a bulletin in the Fraud Alerts section on the website. Walmart actually revealed that third party companies are never hired to employ secret shoppers.
“Mystery shopping, sometimes referred to as secret shopping, is where an individual is hired to ‘act’ like a customer, and evaluate services at a business,” the company’s official corporate website says. “The individual is essentially paid to shop, and then report on the experience. Walmart does NOT utilize these services.
“This mystery shopper scam uses fraudulent offers, fake checks and wire transfers to persuade unsuspecting consumers into sending money to fraudsters who are often located outside the U.S.”
The Walmart check scam follows the reemergence of another Walmart scam involving cashiers underlying cash back practices. That particular scam, which was initially shared via Facebook, involves a Walmart cashier and another person, presumably a friend or another cashier.
Pima County Sheriff: If u see a Wal-Mart check like this, beware-It could be a scam. DON'T cash suspicious checks pic.twitter.com/xZoqZHiY8w— Marcy Luganob (@Marceline1) November 13, 2015
Based on the previous reports, many Walmart shoppers have been duped out of cash back after having the option selected without their knowledge while checking out at the department store. Many unassuming customers have had the “cash back” option added to their purchases.
Since many people have a habit of not reviewing their receipts properly, the fraudulent scam goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Once the shopper leaves the store, another “shopper” or accomplice of the cashier comes through the line and makes a small purchase. Once the register is reopened, the cashier removes the cash back from the previous customer and hands it over to the accomplice, which makes it relatively difficult for the cameras to pick up the fraudulent exchange. All shoppers are urged to be wary of mysterious Walmart checks and inflated purchases that seem suspicious.
[Image via Twitter]