RUSKIN, Fla. (FOX 13) - An online ad to be a secret shopper at a Walmart store scammed a Ruskin man out of nearly $3,000.
Luigi Deboni, who is battling stage four cancer, said he applied for the position online and was mailed a cashier's check for $2,950.
According to Deboni, he deposited the check and began communicating with someone he thought was a legitimate Walmart representative. Instructions were sent to him via text messages. The mystery person on the other end told Deboni to buy as many gift cards as he could.
As a former secret shopper, Deboni said he trusted this offer and was under the impression he was testing whether local Walmart stores were following protocol by only allowing him to buy up to $1,000 in gift cards.
Deboni said he purchased several gift cards at different stores and sent back pictures of each card's number and pin.
Ultimately, Deboni spent nearly $3,000 and shortly after depositing the cashier's check, he received a letter from his bank stating the check was fake.
"Bad things happen to good people and this is just one of them," said Luigi.
Scams like this one are a dime a dozen, according to James Giardina, with the Consumer Rights Law Group.
A cashiers check like this one may be tempting to deposit, but consumer attorneys advise the recipient discuss it with their bank beforehand.
"While your bank may credit you provisionally, legally they don't have to credit you that day," said Giardina.
In Deboni's case, he's paying the $3,000 back little by little and hopes others learn from his experience.