Offer to be a mystery shopper will cost you

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Beverly Vestal lives a quiet, retired life in Wyandotte County. But recently, she received an offer in the mail to work. 

A letter stated Vestal could shop in at popular retail stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Home Depot and complete customer service evaluations. It also included was a check for $3,549. 

Vestal suspected something strange. 

"The minute I looked at the check, I was pretty sure it's bogus," she said. "A big scam."

The letter stated the money needed to be deposited into her account. Then, she needed to wire $2,700 to them by way of Western Union, all under the guise of testing the wire service company. 

Vestal did not cash the check or go out on a shopping spree. Instead, she contacted Call For Action. 

"I believe in you guys. I believe you will try to get to the bottom of this," she said. 

I called the number listed on the letter which spelled out the offer for work as a mystery shopper. But once I introduced myself, the person hung up. 

But the mystery to this scam does not end there.

I traced the address on the letter to a legitimate business with a similar name near Dallas, Texas.  The owner said that a company check was recently stolen, then used to forge other checks that went out nationwide to innocent consumers like Vestal.   

"We actually probably have close to 30 that have actually contacted us," said owner Patta Potter. "I've heard of these scams going on for years, I just never thought it would happen to us."

Potter said they quickly acted by closing down their bank account.  However, they are not pleased that this has happened to them.

As for Beverly Vestal, she now speaks out in hopes of helping others avoid this scheme. 

"I don't want to see anyone else be a victim to this scam," she said.

 

 

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