Don't fall for secret shopper scam

PHOENIX - The old scam that promises you hundreds of dollars to shop is still making its way around the Valley. It sounds like a great deal -- you get paid hundreds of dollars to shop. But you know the old saying -- if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

"There's a lot of scammers out there, the crooks, the cheats, they're always trying to figure out the next way to separate you from your hard-working dollars," said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.  

The secret shopper scam has been around for years and is still here. 

In fact, in just the last month, one Valley woman received a check and a money order for a total of almost $4,000. One note told her to buy $2,700 in Kroger gift cards. The other said to wire almost $1,000 back to them.

The woman did not take the bait and deposit the checks. And it's a good thing. There's a very good chance they would bounce and she'd be out thousands of dollars.

Instead, she got in touch with Call 12 for Action to warn others about the scam.

“If there's one big takeaway from all of this,” Attorney General Brnovich said, “If someone sends you a check unsolicited, and wants you to deposit it, huge red flag, you shouldn't do it.”

There are legitimate secret shopper programs out there, but they're not going to send you a check for $1,000, then ask you to buy gift cards or wire the money back to the sender.

If you think you've been taken advantage of or have a consumer complaint, Call 12 for Action is here to help. Submit a complaint and our team of investigators will get to work for you.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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