BBB warns of coronavirus-related secret shopper scam

BBB warns of coronavirus-related secret shopper scam
(Source: Pixabay)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Better Business Bureau is warning the public about a new scam involving a secret shopper job to “support the COVID-19 supply chain.”

A Memphis woman told BBB that she had received an offer to be a secret shopper at Walmart.

She was sent an instruction letter, evaluation form and a check for $1,980 by mail.

The company offering the position, PMA Auditoria, claimed to be understaffed due to government-imposed lockdowns.

BBB says the woman was told to deposit the check after verifying it on verifycheckatpma.org, which is a phony website that was created just a few months ago and is registered in Nigeria.

After depositing the check and withdrawing the funds, she was told to go to two different Walmart stores and assess each of them on the wearing of masks by staff and how many essential items were out of stock. Then, she would purchase two $400 Walmart gift cards at each store and send pictures of them to her “supervisor.”

After that, she was instructed to keep the cards in a safe place to use for her second assignment, which she would receive if she successfully completed her first. She was told to keep the remaining $380 for her wages.

The woman said she was excited upon receiving the check, but was concerned that it might be a scam, so she contacted BBB, who told her it was.

Fortunately, she didn’t fall for it. Otherwise, the check would have bounced and she would be responsible for paying the bank back.

Better Business Bureau urges you to check out any unsolicited offer of employment, especially those related to COVID-19, on its website.

For up to date information on scams and fraud, click here.

If you spot a scam, please report it here.

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