Consumer Alert: Man receives letter asking to secretly evaluate Walmart, notices fake check

Published: Sep. 20, 2020 at 6:41 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - There’s a new warning about a scam targeting people looking to make quick cash while shopping at Walmart.

The scam can be tracked from Green Bay to Flint, Michigan.

A Green Bay man shared a letter he received in the mail with Action 2 News, and the letter asked him to help with a secret evaluation of Walmart due to anonymous reports of staff misconduct and over-charging.

However, he told Action 2 News what really got his attention was a check for $1,900.

He was told to deposit the check, and buy a $1,500 American Express gift card and keep the rest as payment.

He was then supposed to send the numbers off the gift card with his review of the store.

The man said he wanted to believe it was an easy $400, but knew something wasn’t right because the check was from the Genesee School District in Flint, Michigan.

The Wisconsin Division of Trade and Consumer Protection says they’re seeing more of this type of scam.

“We’re getting complaints about those - the reason why you’re going to scams like this and work at home scams is because people are stretched for money. They’re looking for additional income and ways they can get that additional income from home, and that’s why these mystery shopper scams are going to be more prolific,” says Lara Sutherlin of the Wisconsin Division of Trade and Consumer Protection (DTCP).

Sutherlin, who is the Administrator for the Wisconsin DTCP, says mystery shopping is legitimate, but you don’t make nearly that amount of money.

“If you’re interested in doing it, look online and see if the company you’re interested in has a complaint against it, look at the BBB, call our hotline, but be very wary there’s a lot of scammers out there trying to take your money,” says Sutherlin.

When Action 2 News contacted the Genesee School District, we were told other people are receiving similar checks, and the district is working with law enforcement in an investigation.

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