If you get a $3,850 check in the mail to become a secret shopper, watch out. It’s probably a scam.
That’s what happened to an Ivy Bluff Trail resident who was smart enough to catch the con before losing any money.
The man received a $3,850 check to request his services as a secret store evaluator. The man was asked to visit stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and CVS and perform evaluations.
According to a letter which accompanied the check, “We are a survey company hired to conduct a secret and extensive survey to get insight into the series of complaints from dissatisfied customers. We are carrying out this comprehensive survey nationwide. You have been chosen to evaluate the stores in your geographical zone.”
The letter goes on to state, “You will be going into the above-mentioned stores secretly posing as a potential customer.”
The recipient was told to contact a toll-free number in order to activate the check. When calling the number, the phony company then tries to obtain your sensitive personal information under the guise they need it to verify employment.
Schemes like this one bilked Americans of an estimated $765 million in 2015, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC reports of the more than 3 million complaints it received last year, 37 percent were filed by victims age 60 and older.
Law enforcement officials say, as a general rule, never provide personal information over the phone, especially to someone who calls you. Also, be especially skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true, such as a $3,850 check to evaluate a few stores.