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>>

  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Former Miss Savannah Breaks Silence about Killing Boyfriend

    Former Miss Savannah Breaks Silence about Killing Boyfriend

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:14:37 GMT
    Eleven years ago Savannah ignited worldwide attention when the city's beauty queen of just 4 months was charged with the murder of her boyfriend.
    Eleven years ago Savannah ignited worldwide attention when the city's beauty queen of just 4 months was charged with the murder of her boyfriend.
  • Want to Repel Mosquitoes? There's an App for That

    Want to Repel Mosquitoes? There's an App for That

    The latest buzz on mosquito season... it's here and it can be miserable. I seem to attract mosquitoes. Every time I step outside, I get bit. But there's a new high-tech weapon that could help, and it doesn't come in the form of a spray or clip. It's simply a free app on your smartphone.Anti-mosquito apps give off ultrasonic frequencies that are designed to scare the mosquitoes away. They do this by either mimicking the sounds of mosquito predators, such as dragonflies and bats, or by using th...
    The latest buzz on mosquito season... it's here and it can be miserable. I seem to attract mosquitoes. Every time I step outside, I get bit. But there's a new high-tech weapon that could help, and it doesn't come in the form of a spray or clip. It's simply a free app on your smartphone.Anti-mosquito apps give off ultrasonic frequencies that are designed to scare the mosquitoes away. They do this by either mimicking the sounds of mosquito predators, such as dragonflies and bats, or by using th...
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.