Walmart money scam circulates

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2015

If you think you’ve been tapped to be a secret shopper at Walmart, think twice: you might be the victim of a scam.

So said District Attorney Tom Anderson, who sent a warning Monday to residents in Pike and Coffee county about a new money transfer scam involving counterfeit checks.

According to Anderson’s statement, at least one Enterprise resident already received a counterfeit check for $1,892.22.

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“The checks are mailed with a fake acceptance letter purported to be from Walmart,” Anderson said in a statement.

The letters indicate the recipients had previously responded to a survey from the company’s affiliate consumer service and quality control specialists and are being offered the opportunity to earn additional income on a part-time basis.

“The recipients are told they have been selected to participate in a paid quality control program and, as one of the research personnel accepted under the program, they will be working as a consumer service evaluator for some selected merchant outlets and service providers,” Anderson said.

The fraudulent letters contain the correct address for Walmart’s corporate headquarters as well instructions for check recipients to visit www., a fake website with no affiliation with Walmart.

“The job itself isn’t actually real and the checks are fake,” Anderson said. “Those who fall prey to the scams soon learn they are on the hook to pay their bank back if they have deposited or cashed the fake check as instructed.”

Anderson said one indicator of the scam is that the letters and fraudulent checks are being mailed in envelopes with foreign postage.

“Most legitimate secret shopper jobs are posted online by reputable marketing research or merchandising companies,” Anderson said. “Scammers like to use the names of well-known companies like Home Depot or Walmart to gain the public’s trust, according to the Federal Trade Commission.”

Consumers should remember than an important rule of thumb is to never give personal or financial information online and to refrain from giving out Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers online or by phone to anyone they don’t know.