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

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.

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.
Was this article helpful?  +
Share this with others:

Comments, Questions, Answers, or Reviews

Comments (Total: 14)

To protect your privacy, please remove sensitive information from your comments, questions, or reviews. We will use your IP address to display your approximate location to other users when you make a post. That location is not enough to find you.

Your post will be set as anonymous because you are not signed in. An anonymous post cannot be edited or deleted, therefore, review it carefully before posting. Sign-in.

The comments, reviews or answers below do not necessarily reflect the views of Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

  • July 18, 2019 at 8:24 PM by 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 info

    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 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"

  • November 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"

  • November 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"

  • October 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 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 ( 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!



  • 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..."

Comments Show More Comments (13)

Write Your Comment, Question, Answer, or Review

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