Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson on Tuesday warned residents about an “investigative shopper or mystery shopper” scam after a Douglas County woman was scammed out of several thousand dollars.
Branson said the woman responded to an email from an out-of-state company offering to compensate her and instructed her to go to several area businesses that performed money wire transfers. The email claimed the companies were suspected of fraudulent practices, and the woman was scheduled to return to the businesses the next day to ask for a refund from the companies.
The investigative shopper company had given her a $4,000 check to deposit into her bank account to use for the transfers. The check was later returned for being fictitious, Branson said. The woman learned the $4,000 was not deposited into her account and she lost her own funds for the wire transfers she placed.
“These offerings are never legitimate. They are always a scam,” Branson said. “Never spend money from a deposited check from a questionable source until you verify with your financial institution the check has cleared.”
Branson said the rule applies to money orders and cashier’s checks as well.