RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Did you spend too much over the holidays? Are you dreading going shopping again? But what if you could get paid for your time at the store? Secret Shopper programs are real, but scammers are using the opportunity to take your money.
It happened to Vera Couturier, “I spent $200 buying groceries," she thought she was using money from a secret shopper job at Walmart.
“I didn’t realize. I thought it was true.” The truth is, she spent nearly two thousand dollars of her own money. It started when she received a check in the mail and letter with instructions on how to spend it. “Go buy three $500 gift cards at Walmart, one for $130, one $14 cashiers check which I was to make out to the American Cancer Society, and I got to keep $350," said Couturier.
Vera followed through with the purchases. “When I came home my husband said ‘Where did you get the money to buy all these groceries?’” I said I’ll tell you about it. When he did he said ‘Vera, that’s a scam.’ I said No it’s not. 'Yes it is.
She filed a report with her local Police Department And because she hadn’t revealed the card numbers -- Walmart refunded her $1645.
The Federal Trade Commission put out another warning about mystery or secret shopper scams. It includes these red flag warnings:
- If you’re asked to pay someone to work for them, it’s a scam.
- If you're asked to deposit a check and send money back for any reason, it's check fraud.
- Never wire money, send a money-gram or share gift card numbers. It’s just like giving away cash.
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