Shopping scam targets NC woman for thousands of dollars

North Carolina news

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It all started when a Greenville woman says she received a check for nearly $2,000 from someone posing as representing CVS pharmacy.

After that, she began to receive instructions on what to do with that money until finally, silence fell across her phone.

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

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.”

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 three $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 officials to explain the situation and find out more.

A CVS representative explained that although they can’t comment on this specific case, that “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,” Hill said.

He noted that these types of 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,” Hill said.

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 said that they make sure their employees keep a close eye on similar scams.

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