Police warn of 'secret shopper' scam that could cost victims thousands

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TUSCOLA COUNTY (WJRT) -- Officials across the United States are issuing a warning about a secret or mystery shopper scam to which many people are falling victim.

The scam involves a check for thousands of dollars showing up in the mail with a letter saying the recipient should deposit it, wire back some of the money to the company, keep part as payment and use the rest to shop at stores like Kroger.

U.S. Postal Service inspectors say the checks often appear legitimate to the recipient at the bank. However, when people deposit the checks and wire back the money, they find out the check has bounced.

That leaves the victim out whatever amount of money they wired.

While several legitimate companies in the area hire secret or mystery shoppers, police advise people to be wary of any job that requires payment before any wages are earned.

Anyone who believes they received a fraudulent mystery shopper job lead should call U.S. Postal Service inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.