This particular scam has been attempted upon an unsuspecting Mingo County citizen and maybe others who have not reported the incidents.
Sparks issued a warning against opportunistic scam artists Tuesday, pointing out that the current tumultuous economic times are providing scam artists with chances to prey upon the vulnerable, unsuspecting citizen by way of a worthless check.
“Typically, a victim of a ‘secret shopper scam’ will receive from the scam artist documents and a worthless check bearing a face value of between $2,000 and $3,000,” Sparks reported.
He said the documents and check will have an authentic appearance. The documents will indicate that the victim has been hired as a ‘mystery shopper” with a first assignment of evaluating a money transfer company like Western Union or MoneyGram.
Sparks said the victim will then be directed to cash the worthless check, keep a small portion (typically an arbitrary sum like $108) as payment for services rendered and wire transfer the remaining balance to the scam artist.
“Of course, the worthless check will eventually bounce and the victim will be liable to the financial institution or money transfer company that cashed the worthless check,” said the prosecutor.
“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is,” said Sparks. “Be particularly wary of direct mailings and online ads. Don’t be fooled by official-sounding business names or authentic-looking documents, Finally, a legitimate entity will never require you to pay money or incur financial liability for your job.”
The prosecutor said citizens should not hesitate to contact his office at (304) 235-0350 if they have any questions.