Scam alerts: Beware ‘secret shopper’ packages, scammers posing as law enforcement demanding money

It seems there’s always some new scam going around or some old scam resurfacing. In recent days local law enforcement authorities have shared information about two such scams.

In one case, victims reported to University of Kansas police last week that they’d been scammed out of $1,000 — specifically, according to KU’s online crime log, they were deceived into giving $1,000 in Google Play gift cards to an unknown person posing as a public authority. KU police said in a Facebook post that a caller claiming to be an FBI agent threatened to arrest the victims if they didn’t pay them in the form of the gift cards.

“Legitimate law enforcement and other governmental agencies do not operate this way,” KU police said in the post. “Requesting payment in gift cards is a red flag. If you receive a similar call, hang up and contact your local law enforcement agency.”

We would like to warn the community about a recent phone scam. A caller, claiming to be an FBI agent, threatened to…

Posted by KU Public Safety Office on Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Lawrence Police Department warned people to be wary of “secret shopper” packages.

People have received packages via the U.S. Postal Service requesting they serve as a “secret shopper,” with two letters and a $2,900 check inside, Lawrence police said in a Facebook post. The instructions say to cash the check, keep $500 as commission, buy $2,400 in Walmart gift cards, then send those cards to a “Mr. Knower.”

“This is a scam! The check will bounce and YOU will owe your bank $2,900,” police said. “Remember, if it is too good to be true, then it probably is.”

SCAM ALERT: Individuals have received packages via UPS that request that they serve as a "secret shopper". The package…

Posted by Lawrence Police Department on Sunday, February 17, 2019

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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