We all dream about the day we suddenly strike it rich. Whether it’s courtesy of the lottery or the passing of a long-lost relative, when you’re struggling to make ends meet, any promise of “free money” is a godsend. Unfortunately, the world rarely works that way.
So when one woman received a check for almost $2,000 from Walmart, she thought that the universe was finally working out in her favor. Sadly, that was not the case. What she found out is something we could all stand to learn from! Don’t let it happen to you…
Big box stores like Target and Walmart have become a part of daily life for millions of Americans. Most of us just can’t get enough of just how easy they make shopping. Even Beyoncé can’t stay away!
For many people, these aren’t just places to go and shop; they are brand names that are recognized and trusted. If the name “Walmart” or “Target” is stamped on an item, that’s as good as a seal of approval, right?
That was why Brenda Berry was so excited when she opened up her mail one day and found a check from Walmart! She shopped there all the time and she was elated that the store was reaching out to one of their most faithful customers.
When she looked at the amount, she couldn’t believe her eyes—the check was for almost $2,000! Sure enough, everything seemed legitimate. There was a signature from Walmart’s Senior Vice President and Treasurer, and the company logo was on there, too. She opened the enclosed letter…
It explained that she was being paid for a reason: she had been selected to be a “mystery shopper” who would use the money at Walmart. Then, she was asked to simply go online and rate her experience. Simple enough, right? She excitedly phoned her daughter with the news.
When her daughter answered the phone, Brenda quickly told her exactly what happened. At first, her daughter was just as excited. Then she stopped for a moment and pointed out something that would change her mother’s fate…
Brenda’s daughter told her that this check seemed too good to be true. She warned her mother that the check might not be from the company at all and that she should Google if it was a possible scam before she cashed the check—just in case.
Brenda decided to heed her daughter’s advice. She did a quick Google search, all the while keeping her hopes up that her daughter would prove to be wrong. Unfortunately, she wasn’t…
Brenda was devastated to learn the news: this check was likely a scam. For a woman in her position, a sudden influx of cash like this would mean the world. To have found that check, only to learn it wasn’t real, was heartbreaking.
“This whole thing looks legit,” Brenda explained. “And I kept thinking, please let it be real. I wanted it to be real, but it’s not. And if I would have put that in my account, I would have had to pay back all that money. Every fee and everything for having a bounced check.”
This scam wasn’t like a lot of others out there, either. The major problem with this one was that it seemed so authentic. It looked convincing enough—the “company” even sent out fake money orders, too!
Unfortunately, not everyone who received checks like Brenda’s had a sharp-minded family member to set them straight. These people were tricked into providing private information, only to see their bank accounts drained.
It’s not surprising that Brenda was nearly fooled and so many others were, too! Just look at this check up close. Would you even doubt for a second that this impressive-looking forgery was a fake?
Because she came so close to losing everything, Brenda decided that she would reach out to the store itself. After voicing her concerns to Walmart’s corporate team, she learned valuable information: the company insisted it would never solicit mystery shoppers by “any public means.”
When scams like this happen, consumers aren’t the only ones who suffer. The company’s reputation could also be damaged, and for a company like Walmart, maintaining the trust of their customers is key.
Walmart couldn’t have been pleased when they heard about what was happening to their customers. These stores work tirelessly to provide financial savings to their consumer-base. This scam does the exact opposite—it takes money away from them!
Thank goodness Brenda got the word out there! If this story wasn’t told, who knows how many other people would get this fake check in the mail, assuming it was real, and deposited it—unaware of the damage yet to come?
If you receive any mail like this, do some research to find out who really sent it. Nowadays, there are so many different platforms that people use to send money. From paper checks to Venmo, knowing who is giving you a payout is key.
It might be tempting to cash in that check, but remember: there is no such thing as free money! If you want to keep your savings intact, this is a critical lesson to learn. Don’t be afraid to be protective of your assets…
Being wary and extra cautious with stuff like this could save you from a world of trouble. People may say you’re paranoid, but it’s always better to be paranoid than to be totally broke because you weren’t attentive enough!