Paid to shop? Beware of those ads promising big bucks for being a mystery shopper - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Text Description

Paid to shop? Beware of those ads promising big bucks for being a mystery shopper

Posted: Updated:

Counterfeit money orders are at the heart of this scam.

It starts with victims responding to a job ad that says: 'Receive money orders like these in the mail - then go shopping.'

"They would go to Wal-Mart, make purchases, rate their service they received at Wal-Mart, then they would go back to Western Union and mail back the remaining money to suspect," says U.S. Postal Inspector David Nitz.

After following those instructions, the victims would get a surprise.  Nitz says the money orders they deposited into their bank accounts were counterfeit and they would be in a situation to repay that to the bank.

Postal inspectors were tipped off to one recent case after customs intercepted a package containing $400-thousand dollars worth of counterfeit money orders.

"After making contact with this suspect did a search of her home and found $300-thousand dollars worth of money orders," says Nitz.

In this specific scheme – there were 750 victims and more than $300,000 in losses.

Inspectors say the scam is on the rise and targeting vulnerable victims.

"A lot of victims are already in financial distress. To get involved in something like this just compounds the problem," says Nitz.

Some simple advice: "Don't get involved in something that was unsolicited. Somebody sends you money orders or checks and you don't personally know them or haven't been personally doing business with them you shouldn't be cashing those checks," says Nitz.

Postal inspectors say if you ever want to verify if a money order is "real" you can take it to a post office, employees have been trained to detect counterfeits.

Also, call the Better Business Bureau to check out any business that tries to solicit you. And never send money back to anyone who sends you a check or money order unless you know exactly who they are and you're certain they are legitimate.

Sarah Panko

Sarah is the anchor/ producer for News Three First Edition at 5/4 central time. She also brings you the latest Consumer Reports on the Nightwatch at 11/10 central. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WRBL Poll: Georgia governor, senate races remain tight

    WRBL Poll: Georgia governor, senate races remain tight

    Sep 02, 2014 04:41 PM2014-09-02 21:47:57 GMT
    New WRBL News 3 / Ledger-Enquirer / PMB Broadcasting poll carried out by GaPundit.com show Georgia governor and senate race remains neck and neck ahead of November election.New WRBL News 3 / Ledger-Enquirer / PMB Broadcasting poll carried out by GaPundit.com show Georgia governor and senate race remains neck and neck ahead of November election.
    New statewide Georgia poll finds the race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter for governor - and the race between David Perdue and Michelle Nunn for U.S. Senate - remain highly competitive.
    New statewide Georgia poll finds the race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter for governor - and the race between David Perdue and Michelle Nunn for U.S. Senate - remain highly competitive.
  • PHOTOS: Phenix City gas station robbed at gunpoint

    PHOTOS: Phenix City gas station robbed at gunpoint

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:23 AM EDT2014-09-02 15:23:31 GMT
    Surveillance image show an armed man robbing a Phenix City gas station early Monday morning.Surveillance image show an armed man robbing a Phenix City gas station early Monday morning.
    Phenix City police release images of a man robbing a gas station at gunpoint early Monday morning.
    Phenix City police release images of a man robbing a gas station at gunpoint early Monday morning.
  • PHOTOS: August 2014 Mugshots

    PHOTOS: August 2014 Mugshots

    Friday, August 15 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-08-15 19:29:55 GMT
    Mugshots from across central Alabama from August 2014.
    Mugshots from across central Alabama from August 2014.
  • Consumer WatchMore>>

  • Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Aug 25, 2014 07:03 PM2014-08-28 22:27:56 GMT
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
  • Computer security breach at Columbus UPS Store

    Computer security breach at Columbus UPS Store

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:29:51 GMT
    Malware virus found on UPS Store computer in Columbus. Information such as card numbers, postal and email addresses could have been taken.
    Malware virus found on UPS Store computer in Columbus. Information such as card numbers, postal and email addresses could have been taken.
  • Attwood Recalls Kayak and Watersports Storage Hanger

    Attwood Recalls Kayak and Watersports Storage Hanger

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:07:16 GMT
    About 10,000 Kayak and Watersports Storage Hangers are being recalled. Attwood, the company that makes the product says the length adjustment buckles release unexpectedly, causing the item being stored to fall and injure people nearby. No injuries have been reported.Consumers are advised to stop using the product and return it to the store where the item was purchased for a full refund or replacement.Model number 1191...
    About 10,000 Kayak and Watersports Storage Hangers are being recalled. Attwood, the company that makes the product says the length adjustment buckles release unexpectedly, causing the item being stored to fall and injure people nearby. No injuries have been reported.Consumers are advised to stop using the product and return it to the store where the item was purchased for a full refund or replacement.Model number 1191...
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.