Shopping scam almost costs a local woman thousands of dollars

Consumer Watch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It all started when a Greenville woman says she received a check for nearly $2,000 from someone posing as a CVS pharmacy. After that, she began to receive instructions on what to do with that money until finally, radio silence fell across her phone.

“When I started getting correspondence, nothing else said anything about CVS,” said Shirley Williams of Greenville.

Shirley Williams is speaking out after she was almost robbed of nearly $2,000.

“I received a CVS survey questionnaire asking me to be a secret shopper for CVS,” said Williams. “There was no logo and they wanted me to take this cashier’s check for $1,950. Take the check and deposit it to my bank account and then proceed within 12 hours, I get an additional $250.”

Miss Williams, a past secret shopper herself, says she noticed red flags when the organizer kept asking her to deposit the money quickly.

“That’s what really got my attention, and they prompted you to go buy $1,500 of at least 3 $500 American Express gift cards,” said Williams. “With the urgency, they’re saying, I would have been robbed.”

She notes even CVS corporate told her to steer clear. That’s when we decided to dig deeper. WNCT contacted CVS’ corporate to explain the situation and find out more.

A representative explained that although they can’t comment on this specific scenario, that quote, “gift card scams are a challenge to all retailers and we are committed to warning our customers about these types of scams. “

Nick Hill with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina says secret shopping can actually be a great gig.

“Mystery shopping or secret shopping is actually a really valid job opportunity for some people out there.”

Nick Hill, Communications Specialist for the BBB of ENC

Noting that these scams have cost people thousands.

“The median loss for those was a whopping $1,679 which made it the second riskiest scam for people ages 18-24.”

Nick Hill, Communications Specialist for the BBB of ENC

Williams says she just wants everyone to be aware.

“Facebook, social media and your email are always hacked with different offers and just stay away from those offers. If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” said Williams.

CVS reps tell us that they make sure their employees keep a close eye on scams like these.

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