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Scam targets shoppers in Eatonville

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EATONVILLE, Wash. — Earning some extra cash as a secret shopper might sound like a good idea, but a new scam has made its way from Oregon to Washington. It’s trying to turn shoppers into victims.

Monique Larson received an envelope in the mail with a cashier’s check for just over $3700, claiming to be part of a Mystery Shopper opportunity.

“I knew it was a scam right away,” said Larson. “I went onto Facebook, and I saw my girlfriend also had the exact same envelope.”

Larson said while she didn’t fall for the scam, the attention to detail in the letter and check could easily fool someone else. The letter wants the recipient to cash the check, keep some of the money in turn for their secret shopper services, but then asks the recipient to wire the additional money to someone else.

“it looks really real; it’s got the water seal, it even says cashier’s check but my dad always taught me if it’s too good to be true, it likely is,” said Larson.

People have already started alerting Randolph Brooks-Federal Credit Union listed on the cashier’s check on Facebook regarding the scam. Meanwhile, Larson is alerting her neighbors.

“Everybody’s money is precious to them and the fact that they want to take that from them makes me angry,” said Larson.

Larson said she didn’t know how she got targeted for this particular scam but shared one of her friends had clicked on a mystery shopper link online.

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, a fraudulent cashier’s check may go through initially. However, that money doesn’t belong to the consumer if the check proves to be fake; thus, the consumer will owe the bank the full amount once the bank discovers the fraud, which could be days or weeks later.

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1 Comment

  • Gwen W.

    I received a Cashier’s Check in the amount of $2,372.30, supposedly drawn on the “Bank of the Ozarks”. I immediately suspected that it was a scam because it was unsolicited by me.
    I have subsequently received REMINDER emails instructing me to deposit the check and complete the instructions.
    My next step is to contact the WA State Consumer Protection Division.