On Your Side Alert: Fake Walmart Mystery Shopping offer

There's a popular scam that just may show up in your inbox. A viewers called 12 after receiving a suspicious email claiming to be from Walmart about a mystery shopping offer.

If you're looking for a job, it just may tempt you.The offer claims you can make 200 dollars per assignment. You're told to respond with some personal information and if you reply, that's when things start to get strange. A follow up email tells you that you will be evaluating Western Union stores.

To string you along, cyber crooks send detailed emails with specific instructions. They also send you fake money orders, supposedly worth hundreds of dollars, that you're supposed to deposit in your bank.

For your work, you're told you can take your 200 dollars from the money orders. Of course there is a catch, as part of your first assignment, you're supposed to ship the extra funds, in this case, over a thousand dollars to someone the email refers to as a "Receiving Agent."  It may take a while for your bank to flag the phony money orders but if you cash them, you will be responsible for the money.

We contacted Walmart about the email and the company confirms it's not coming from them. Walmart says unfortunately this is becoming a growing problem. The company released this statement, " Walmart does not utilize any mystery shopper services. Unfortunately, people will sometimes try to take advantage of our good name when sending out fraudulent solicitations."

Walmart also has important safety tips and red flags about Mystery Shopping scams on its website. If you get one of these phony offers, you can report it to abuse@walmart.com. Remember, there are legit mystery shopping offers out there. If you are interested, a good place to start is Mystery Shopping providers Association. The web address is Mysteryshop.org.

Your safest option, never open  or respond to unsolicited emails offering you a job.  Experts also say if you have posted your resume to an online job site, and get an email about a job, always verify it with the site.

Helpful websites:

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved