Check fraud scam targets Wal-Mart customers

If you have the sinking suspicion that something may be too good to be true, you’re probably correct. For Brenda Berry, her intuition may have saved her thousands of dollars.

According to WSAZ, Berry of Braxton County, W.Va., received a check for $1,892.35 — that appears to be from Wal-Mart — along with a letter asking her to be a secret shopper for the retailer. Berry tells reporters, “When I saw the check, I was like woo-hoo. I was excited. It’s $1,800 dollars. Everyone can use $1,800 dollars.”

The check looked legitimate, down to the painstakingly forged signature of Jeff Davis, Wal-Mart senior vice president, finance and treasurer. Berry was not convinced, however, and spoke with her daughter for a second opinion.

Berry discovered that this check was indeed a scam, designed to send bank account information to the scammer as soon as it was deposited. Similar cases have been reported nationwide, including a user-submitted story from Waterford, Wis., on Terry Ambrose’s website and a News 4 story from Upper Marlboro, Md. Each time, the check was for nearly $2,000 and was accompanied by a request to be a mystery shopper.
On the Wal-Mart website, the retailer makes it clear to shoppers that they do not engage in any sort of secret shopping and offers ways in which consumers can prevent themselves from falling victim to these scams.
Berry tells WSAZ, “I kept thinking, please let it be real. I wanted it to be real, but it’s not. And if I would have put that in my account, I would have had to pay back all that money. Every fee and everything for having a bounced check.”

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