Walmart secret shopper letter is actually a scam

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ELKMONT, Ala (WHNT) - A Limestone County woman opened her mail Tuesday only to find a check for almost $2,000 with instructions on how to be a Walmart Customer Service Evaluator. Only problem is - it's a scam.

While you've been hearing a lot lately about internet scams, and scammers that will call you on the phone, we can't forget about the thieves that still do things the old-fashioned way, through the mail.

Mary Covington says she has no idea how scammers got her name and address. But Tuesday she got a letter offering her a job as a Walmart Secret Shopper.

"And then I saw the check, and I was like, that's a hefty sum. Why would somebody send me this much money to start up," Covington asked?

Because it's a scam, that's why. The check looks legitimate enough, but it isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Mary was suspicious from the very beginning and called Walmart's corporate offices to see what was going on.

"And they explained to me it's a scam. Do not enter anything into the website, don't go there because once you deposit the check, what they'll end up doing is they'll empty your account," Covington said.

We checked with Walmart's corporate offices and they verified they've had other calls from people asking about the same scam. Their statement: "The letter and website in question are not affiliated with Walmart. Unfortunately, people occasionally take advantage of our brand to perpetrate these types of scams."

"It's scary, it's very scary and it's unnerving because there's so much out there with the internet, you know," Covington said.

What made Mary suspicious was the fact the envelope had a postmark on it from Madrid, Spain. That is not where Walmart is headquartered. And the other thing is the check was drawn against a bank that no longer exists. Mary is a well-educated person and she thought it was real at first.

The only thing between your money and the thieves is you. You have to be vigilant, you have to be suspicious. Before you respond to any offer like this, or any unfamiliar demand for your money, call a friend or relative, call the Better Business Bureau, or call us. Don't be duped out of your money.

UPDATE:  Erin A. Hofmann, of Walmart's National Media Relations, the Walmart spokesperson who was quoted in the story, declined to specify how many calls they've had regarding this scam. A Customer Service Representative WHNT News 19 spoke with Wednesday before our call was routed to Ms. Hofmann's office, said he had received other calls about it that day. For more information, Ms. Hofmann provides the following link:

Fraud Alerts - Mystery Shopper Scams: http://corporate.walmart.com/privacy-security/fraud-alerts/mystery-shopper

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