If you receive a check in the mail from Wal-Mart, you might want to throw it away.
Several people have reported receiving a check addressed from Wal-Mart, accompanied by an official-looking letter, the Independent Journal reports. The letter explains that Wal-Mart's secret shopping partner company has selected the recipient to use a portion of the check to mystery shop at the store and details how they can use attached account information to report their retail experience on a official-looking website. Once they register, the letter says the shopper can keep the remainder of the money.
“I got a check and a letter in the mail from ‘Walmart’ asking if I wanted to be a secret shopper or Customer service evaluator,” Jeri Lindsey reported, according to Terry Ambrose. “The check was for almost $2000. DO NOT DO THIS!"
Lindsey explained that the registration website asks for driver's license information as well as a Social Security number "to activate the check."
As with most other things that seem too good to be true, it turns out that cashing the check will give the scam company access to the recipient's bank account, which they will then drain.
In fact, Wal-Mart does not even hire third party secret shoppers.
“Mystery shopping, sometimes referred to as secret shopping, is where an individual is hired to ‘act’ like a customer, and evaluate services at a business," the company's official corporate website says. "The individual is essentially paid to shop, and then report on the experience. Walmart does NOT utilize these services."
"This mystery shopper scam uses fraudulent offers, fake checks and wire transfers to persuade unsuspecting consumers into sending money to fraudsters who are often located outside the U.S," the site continues.
If a you receive a check or another offer that seems suspicious, the Independent Journal recommends first checking with the Better Business Bureau or the National Fraud Information Center.