I focus on a lot of email scams, but there are still plenty of scams run by mail and phone. The Walmart check scam is labor intensive for fraudsters, but can be very lucrative. Jeri Lindsey warned all of her friends on Facebook about the scam when she barely avoided it.
The Walmart check scam in action
“I got a check and a letter in the mail from ‘Walmart’ asking if I wanted to be a secret shopper or Customer service evaluator,” Jeri reported. “The check was for almost $2000. DO NOT DO THIS! The check and the letter look legitimate. But it’s not. It tells you to go online and activate the check before you deposit it. It wants your drivers license number and your social security number to activate the check.”
Jeri went on to add that once the check was deposited, it would find its way to the scammer, who would then pull the bank account information for the account where the check had been deposited.
“Don’t get duped like I almost did,” Jeri said. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Well said, Jeri. The Walmart check scam is a classic example of how the scammer gets most of the information he needs from one location, then pulls different information after the victim has taken an initial step.
Also, bravo to Walmart for stepping up and addressing the Walmart check scam on their website. “Walmart does NOT utilize these [mystery shopping] services. Fraudsters are sending fraudulent solicitations via mail, print, text, and e-mail to entice consumers to evaluate the retail experience, products and services at stores, including Walmart.”
Walmart check scam with a twist
Walmart also notes on their website that they will never mail a check and ask you to buy something, then keep the remainder of the check as payment for services rendered. This type of Walmart check scam is another form of the classic mystery shopper scam that can eventually let the bad guys gain access to your banking information.