Monica Valdez thought she was going to make some money as a mystery shopper. It turns out that she lost a bundle as the victim of a scam.
Valdez recently received a letter from Wilmington, Del., about the opportunity of being a mystery shopper.
As part of the arrangement, she was to receive a $4,800 check and send $4,400 of that money back to the company, supposedly leaving her $400 in compensation for her work.
“I went and put the $4,800 in the bank. They said it would take a day to clear. I went the following day, and they said it cleared. I took out the money and sent what the letter told me to send,” Valdez said.
But then the bank put a hold on the check.
“I went to see what was going on, and the lady at the bank said it was fraud. It was a scam, and now I have to pay back the money,” Valdez said.
She said she already had $2,500 in her bank account because of an income tax refund check; that money went toward paying off part of the money lost because of the scam; now she has to come up with the remaining nearly $2,000 in a couple of months.
Gena Coldwell, a spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau of the Southwest in Albuquerque, said Valdez isn’t the only one who has suffered from this scam.
“People are constantly being scammed with the mystery shopper deal. You keep a certain amount and wire them the remainder. The check clears at first, then it bounces,” Coldwell said. “We can’t get the word out enough about this.”