Woman sees through 'mystery' shopper scam - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Woman sees through 'mystery' shopper scam

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   Here's another scam warning as we head toward the holidays. An Albany woman received a check for nearly four thousand dollars, asking her to go shopping with it. She knew that had to be too good to true, and it turned out to be a scam.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators say they see scam victims almost daily, who fall for these mystery shopper scams. They expect it to get worse in the coming months.

With the Holidays approaching, Sheriff's Investigators say that people are getting desperate for money, and will fall for almost con. Tammy Covin said she was tempted, but was too smart to fall for an old con that Investigators say people are still falling for everyday.

Tammy Covin says when she received a check for almost $4,000 in the mail last week, she of course was tempted. 

"Lord, I could use $3,000, based on this economy and Christmas coming around the corner, I could sure use it," Covin said.

The letter with the check said Market Innovative Control Systems wanted to hire her as a mystery shopper.  "They also gave me a check for $3,984, and just told me to go shopping and send my receipts back to them."

The letter told her to deposit the check, wire part of it back Western Union, then go shopping, but don't tell anyone. Covin knew that was just too good to be true, and started investigating. The check is from Innovative Control Systems, a real auto parts manufacturer from Wind Gap Pennsylvania.

When Covin called them, the company warned her that there are many victims of this scam, and don't cash the check. 

"I knew it was a con right off the bat. You shouldn't have to keep everything confidential."

Covin is warning South Georgians that these scam letters are being mailed out, and don't fall for them.  "Please be aware. They are sending them out, and there are con artists everywhere. The economy is hard enough as it is."

Sheriff's Investigators say Covin has it right, and these type of scam letters will only increase as the holidays approach. They say people are desperate for money, and that makes them easier targets for these scam artists, and that is why scammers are sending more traps out there.

Tammy says she is probably going to frame her check, and keep it to show and warn her friends. Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators say they continue to see people who fall for Mystery Shopper and other scams.

They say almost any come-on you receive by mail or e-mail that offers to pay you is more than likely a scam.

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