Columbus Police Department warning the public of secret shopper scam

Columbus Police Department warning the public of secret shopper scam
Columbus Police Department warning the public of secret shopper scam (Source: Columbus Police Department)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Columbus Police Department is warning citizens of a secret shopper scam.

The police department’s financial crimes unit is seeing several scams involving fraudulent secret shopper jobs.

According to the police department, an individual will receive a letter where fraudsters are claiming to be from a company that’s using people as secret shoppers to go into stores because of issues like employee theft and misconduct.

The letter instructs the victim to do the following:

  • Text receipt of the letter and check to a specific phone number who is supposed to be the individual’s new “supervisor.”
  • Deposit the enclosed check into his or her personal bank account.
  • Once the funds have cleared (or partially cleared) withdraw the entire amount as cash.
  • Then go to the nearest Walmart and obtain money orders (making sure to keep the money orders blank).
  • Once the money orders are obtained, send the money orders via FedEx to an address that will be texted from the individual’s “supervisor.”

After these instruction are complete, the victim will be notified from their bank that the check was fraudulent and now owes the bank the amount of money from the fraudulent check. All contact information from the “supervisor” will be changed or cancel so that there is no way to make contact to dispute the fraud.

Police are advising that these types of scams involve several stores. Anyone with questions about the scam can call the Columbus Police Department Financial Crimes Unit.

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