Highlands County deputies warn of mystery shopper scam

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Officials in Highlands County are warning about a recent mystery shopper scam, where one resident fell victim to it.

The resident inquired about a mystery shopper ad and received an official-looking check for $2,294 in the mail, reports Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. A letter with instructions was also included.

The first step, it said, was to keep $335 as a fee and expenses, and then use $30 to go shopping at a nearby Walmart, and rate the store after, according to deputies. The second step requires the victim to take the leftover $964 from the check, wire it to another person through a “Walmart-2-Walmart” transfer as a test of the system, so the victim can rate that as well, deputies said.

This is when the problem comes in, deputies said.

The check sent to the victim will bounce, meaning that person will be on the hook for the entire $2,294 bill, while the suspect will still receive $964, deputies said.

The sheriff’s office posted images of the check and the instruction letter to its Facebook page, so potential victims will know what to look out for. They wrote, “don’t fall for this type of scam.”