The Laurel Police Department is warning the community and surrounding areas that they have received information and documents of a scam currently being conducted. The scam is a mystery secret shopper scam is has currently started occurring in the local area.
Letters and checks have been sent that appear to be from a personal or business account, citing payment for a mystery shopper program. The letter asks consumers to deposit the check, deduct a fee as the consumer’s salary for conducting the secret shopper, and then proceed to different stores and purchase Money Grams. The money grams are for sums over a thousand dollars, which after receiving the money grams the consumer is to mail the money grams off to two separate addresses. (It should be noted that the address the letters originated from and the address the money grams are to be sent too are completely different and different states.)
The consumer is asked when they purchase the money grams, that there is certain information needed to accomplish the transaction which include names of the cashier, Name & address of the store the money gram was purchased from, and the reference number for the transfer. Once the consumer has mailed the money gram off to the addresses provided, they are then asked to email two different email addresses providing the information requested.
It’s not until several days or weeks later that when the checks are sent to the bank listed on the check, it is discovered the account is either closed or does not exist or the routing number is invalid. The checks are then returned to the consumers banks and over draft fees are incurred.
The Laurel Police are requesting anyone who receives these letters and checks in the mail to please use caution and report the incident to your local police. If you decide to cash the checks, please ensure your banking facility is aware of the circumstances and obtain their advice prior to depositing them to avoid any over draft fees.