A new scam has hit Roswell, using the name of Walmart. It has already claimed its first victims.
The person will receive a letter or an e-mail which gives the name of Walmart in the subject line that says: “We Pay Five Hundred Every Week, If You Join Our Secret Shopper Team in your City.” It supplies an e-mail link where a person is invited to apply. Don’t be fooled. The Corporate Fraud Offices at Walmart said the company does not use secret shoppers.
Manager of Roswell’s Walmart Sue Christensen said: “This is a scam. We had one couple come in here two weeks ago, bringing a letter.”
These scam artists send fraudulent solicitations via mail, print, text and e-mail to entice consumers to evaluate the retail experience at Walmart. The communications are often associated with addresses that appear to be “Wal-Mart” or an address such as “email@example.com.” The most recent communique to a Roswell resident listed an email address of “job firstname.lastname@example.org.” There may be another email address embedded in the “From” line. To see the real email address, place the cursor over the from line or click on the reply button. However, officials at Walmart say if people use the latter option, they must delete the reply before it is sent.
“This year, the scammers set up a website called Walmart Express, around Nov. 15. Our corporate offices are tracking these e-mails to try and prevent the fraud,” she said. The Walmart Express site is a fake.
According to Christensen, once the person responds to the ad, the consumer receives an “employment packet” containing a training assignment, a list of products to purchase and a realistic-looking cashier’s check, often for $2,000 to $4,000.
The “training assignment” is to deposit the check into the consumer’s bank account, pose as a shopper and then use wire transfer to send the balance of the check’s proceeds (minus the cost of the purchases and the consumer’s “salary”) to an address outside the United States.
The check, like the job, is fake. When the check or money order bounces after the money is wired to the phony account, the consumer is held responsible to the bank for the entire amount, plus any penalty fees. In some instances, consumers who apply for the job are asked for personal bank account information. These consumers then become victims of identity theft.
Christensen wants to hear from people in Chaves County who have received these unsolicited e-mails or letters inviting them to become a Walmart mystery shopper or secret shopper. The local Walmart hopes people will bring in copies of the letters and e-mails to their Assets Manager Misty Moore. The corporate offices will then track the e-mail to shut down the operations.
Anyone who has received a fraudulent offer should also contact the Roswell Police Department. On a national level, forward or send the scam offer to email@example.com or call 1-800-MONEYGRAM. Potential victims are also asked to contact, the corporate offices at Walmart at their e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A victim of any fraud via the internet can also file a report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The ICCC is a cooperative effort between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. To make a report with the ICCC, at ic3.gov/.