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

2017-10-17T09:52:02  +
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.

Please continue reading below.

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 names.in 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 “admin@walmart.com”.
  • 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 OnlineAbuse@walmart.com. 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.

Please share what you know or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. Also, check the comment section below for additional information, if there is any.

Remember to forward suspicious, malicious, or phishing email messages to us at the following email address: info@onlinethreatalerts.com

Also, report scams, untrustworthy, or fraudulent websites to us. Tell us why you consider the websites untrustworthy or fraudulent.

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  • Posted: Dec 12, 2017 at 8:10 PM by info

    Here is another scam:

    "From: michaelj1@dandomain.dk
    Sent: Monday, December 4, 2017 1:26 PM
    Subject: [ The; Mystery - Shoppers. ] 2017

    DEAR

    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:
    City/state/country:
    Postal Codes:
    A.g.e :
    Phone Numbers

    Regards,
    Edwin Miller
    Team- Recruitment"

    delete


  • Posted: Oct 19, 2017 at 11:12 AM by info

    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"

    delete


  • Posted: Nov 21, 2016 at 5:19 PM by info

    Here is another scam:

    "From: James Taylor
    Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2016 11:04 PM
    Subject: Re: [ Welcome to Mystery-Shopping ]

    Dear Survey Agent,

    Congratulation, you have been accepted as one of our Survey Agent who will be carrying out a comprehensive evaluation on (2) Two Walmart Stores in
    your neighborhood. You will be purchasing an item or multi items personal use whereby you get to keep purchased item or items and you'd also be evaluating the money gram service at the same Walmart. So at this point, i'd like you to take note of 2 Walmart stores in your neighborhood which you'd like to evaluate in carrying out this survey.

    As a Secret Agent, you're expected to act Cool, Calm and Confident throughout
    the period which you will be carrying out your survey at the store in order not to arouse any suspicion.

    ...

    Full Legal Name :
    Full Physical Address with Apt no :
    City :
    State :
    Zip code :
    Cell and Home # :
    Present Occupation:

    Your pay for the completion of your First Assignment is $300 while it increases after every completed assignment. Your prompt response would be highly appreciated.

    Yours sincerely
    James Taylor"

    delete


  • Posted: Nov 8, 2016 at 12:27 PM by info

    Here is another scam:

    "Subject: Job Opportunity
    Tue 08/11/2016 10:53
    From: "Walmart Secret Shopper"

    Are you interested in a Job Opportunity as Secret Shopper and earn up to $450 weekly.
    If interested, Simply {Click Here} to read Full Details"

    delete


  • Posted: Oct 24, 2016 at 8:02 AM by info

    Received via email:

    "Reporting a Secret Shopper Offer Scam.

    On October 3, I received a Mystery Shopper offer by email from a Teressa Adams, allegedly recruiting from csupport6@ucsc.edu. The job entails an Evaluation process such as visiting Walmart/K-Mart etc. Since I am in search of a job working from home, I accepted and on October 6, a follow-up email from a James Taylor (private@myfirm.com.co) explained the survey procedure in detail and advised me that a package would be sent to me with my compensation payment of $250 and other funds. A Priority Mail envelope sent by Silverpoint Survey, 1433 New Road, Northfield NJ 08226 was in my mail box on Friday, October 21.

    However, certain payment instructions in his letter had aroused my suspicions and I went on-line to search for more information about Mystery/Secret Shoppers opportunities. To make my story short, my suspicions were confirmed and I am attaching copies of the letter, the Priority mailer and an authentic looking cashier's check of Northwest Savings Bank in Warren, PA 16365. The amount of $2850.35 was transmitted by Kathleen Spearman and is to be paid to the order of Leodyne Alsbach.

    Because I had a very serious car collision on October 10, which has left me indefinitely without transportation, and this first assignment had to be completed within 24 hours which would entitle me to a $100 bonus, I advised James Taylor yesterday by email that I would be unable to accept the assignment and would therefore return the cashier's check on Monday (tomorrow). So far, I have not received his response to this.

    My report to the FTC has been submitted today. Thank you so much for your time and attention!

    Sincerely,
    Leodyne"

    delete


  • Posted: May 15, 2016 at 11:10 PM by info

    Here is another scam:

    "From: Secret Shopper
    Date: 5/10/16 9:22 PM (GMT-08:00)
    Subject: Good Job!!!!!

    Dear Sir/ Ma

    Perhaps, this might be the right platform to lessen unpaid bills that triggers unrest. This is an opportunity of a lifetime you don’t want to miss. We are looking for outstanding Brand Personnel (In the name of Secret Shoppers) to evaluate sales performance, market force, and improved customer service in USA.

    It’s a part-time job with basics computing, minimal managerial skills & zero hassle. We operate in a diverse business ventures, such as Production, Distribution, Retail, Hotels, Automotive, Supermarkets, Restaurants, Pub, Banking and more..."

    delete