Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It

The recipients of checks appearing as if they came from Walmart, especially ones that were mailed from outside of the United States from a country like Spain, asking the recipients to take part in a mystery shopping experience, should not follow the instructions in the mail. This is because it is a mystery shopper scam. 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.

Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It

Mystery shopping, sometimes referred to as secret shopping, is where an individual is hired to “act” like a customer toevaluate services at a business. The individual is essentially paid to shop, and then report on the experience.

Fraudsters use fraudulent solicitations via mail, print, text, and e-mail to entice consumers to evaluate the retail experience, products and services at stores, including Walmart

How the Mystery Shopper Scam Works

  • The scam artist sends a letter, e-mail solicitation or places an ad in a newspaper or on an electronic message board describing a paid, stay-at-home position in which the consumer will evaluate customer service at large retail stores—businesses with familiar reality, these stores have no affiliation with the scam artist placing the ad.
  • After responding to the ad, the consumer receives an "employment packet" containing a training assignment, a list of products to purchase at different stores 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, often in Canada.
  • The problem is that the check is fake; so when it bounces—which occurs after the money is wired—the consumer is accountable (in some cases, criminally) to the bank for the entire amount of the fake check, plus additional penalty fees. Also, in some instances, consumers are asked for personal bank account information. The company will then "deposit" money into their account for payment and funds with which to perform their Secret Shopper tasks. These consumers often then become victims of identity theft or have their accounts drained by fraudster.

Tips from W​almart on How to Detection Mystery Shopper Scam

  • These communications are often associated with fictional departments or branding initiatives with letters or e-mails coming from addresses that appear to be “Wal-Mart” or an address such as “”.
  • There is usually another email address embedded in the “From” line. You can see the embedded email address by either hovering your cursor over the “From” line in the email or in many cases by clicking the “Reply” button and seeing what is in the “To” line of the reply email. Be careful to delete the reply before sending as to not confirm your receipt of the email to the scam artists thus confirming to them that your email is active.
  • There may be multiple emails listed in the “to” line, or to “undisclosed recipients”
  • A website may be lacking Walmart branding, the Walmart Privacy Policy and the general look and feel of other Walmart websites. Other signs may include using outdated Walmart logos and branding. (e.g Walmart typed as “Wal-Mart” or “Wal«Mart”)
  • Walmart does not hire Associates to perform services on behalf of other retailers or companies.
  • Associates hired by Walmart are required to complete a hiring process, including legally required paperwork and drug testing.
  • Walmart will NEVER mail you a check and ask that you deposit it in order to purchase an item or service and keep the remainder of the amount as payment for services.

How to Protect Yourself from ​Mystery Shopper Scam

  • Don't open or respond to unsolicited e-mails asking you to become a mystery shopper or secret shopper.
  • Never deposit a check you receive in the mail from a "mystery shopping" company. No legitimate business will pay in advance and ask you to send back a portion of the money.
  • If you have posted your resume to an online job site, verify with the site any job solicitations you receive.
  • Don't click on or respond to online ads or Web sites offering free gift cards.
  • FYI: Walmart never solicits mystery shoppers via e-mail, mail, or any other public means
  • Remember, if it sounds too good to believe, it is!

How To Report Walmart Myst​ery hopper Scams

If you suspect you have received a fraudulent e-mail claiming to be from Walmart, please forward the e-mail directly to Walmart at For investigatory purposes, please do not cut and paste the e-mail into the body of the email or forward the email to us; instead, copy the entire email and send it as an attachment.

If you were a victim of fraud via the Internet, you should file a report with your local law enforcement agency along with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC). The ICCC is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. You can make a report with the ICCC.

For more information about the Walmart Mystery Shopper scam, please click here.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Comments, Questions, Answers, or Reviews

Comments (Total: 14)

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July 18, 2019 at 8:24 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: Bedminster, New Jersey, United States

My son received one of these checks today.thank God it has not been deposited into any account.I think we may bring the letter And the check to the police in hope that they may find some way to catch these people


June 20, 2019 at 5:06 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: Bayonne, New Jersey, United States

I keep getting scam calls on my phone about walmart gift card is ready


January 23, 2019 at 9:30 AM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: Newburgh, New York, United States

Received a realistic looking cashier's check in the amount of $2,930 with instructions on what to do, which included buying 6 $400 gift cards, scratching off the codes, taking a picture of the cards and sending to 937-541-0841. The name for this number is Lloyd Anderson.

People, please do not fall for this!


June 26, 2019 at 9:24 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

Same thing here with differences to certain details. However, the name on mine is Lloyd Rowland. Same number (937-541-0841). Beware of this SCAM


October 22, 2019 at 2:51 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Thank God I looked into this and saw this post! I got the exact same thing yesterday. I thought it looked fishy so I decided to look into it.


May 11, 2019 at 2:51 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: Gloversville, New York, United States

Recieved the same type of packet through the USPS. The paper read confidential and included a cashiers check in the amount of $3,250.00 The check appeared real enough containing the check number, state employees credit union, and name of remitter Sandra Dunston.

Also included in my packet was also the instructions of purchasing gift cards and scratching them off, taking photos, and mailing them to a location. The name Lloyd Anderson jumped out at me in your review, because the name on this instruction list was Lloyd Rowland. The number attached was 937-541-0841.

I hope this helps anyone else who suspects fraud or a scam. I am turning this information over to the police as soon as I can.


December 24, 2018 at 4:38 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Received a very realistic looking cashiers check with instructions on what to do, which included buying 8 $200 gift cards, scratching off the codes, taking a picture of the cards and sending to this email:

I'm very afraid people will fall for this.

There's also a phone number for this Thomas Bruce: 317 606-4299 and the letterhead is Marketforce.


September 8, 2022 at 7:19 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It
an anonymous user from: Downtown Redmond, Redmond, Washington, United States

I got the same one with same name only number is 6468443996 and the check was in the amount of 1896.36 and in the letter it said it should've been 1896.35 so just that 1 cent discrepancy I knew it was fraud. So pay attention to every detail. I hope no one falls for this kind of nonsense.


December 12, 2017 at 8:10 PM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It

Here is another scam:

"From: <>

Sent: Monday, December 4, 2017 1:26 PM

Subject: [ The; Mystery - Shoppers. ] 2017


We have a customer service survey a'ssignments in your location,we will pay U.S500.

which would come the form of a money order for your a'ssignments.

The job entail's an evaluation process such as visiting walmart/k-mart,etc.

Following details below :

Full Name:

Full Address:


Postal Codes:

A.g.e :

Phone Numbers


Edwin Miller

Team- Recruitment"


October 19, 2017 at 11:12 AM by
Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It

Here is another scam:

"From: PineCone Research <>

Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:27 PM

Subject: Wal-Mart Assignment

Pinecone Research tm

You are invited to participate in Wal-Mart survey for customer service satisfaction.

You will be paid $500.00 for each completed survey.

Join Now >

Operations Manager

PineCone Research

Attn: Gary Scott"


Write Your Comment, Question, Answer, or Review


Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Walmart Mystery Shopper Scam - How to Detect and Protect Against It