Secret Shopper Email Scam Caught By Kennewick Woman - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Secret Shopper Email Scam Caught By Kennewick Woman

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - A Kennewick woman thought she was taking part in a seasonal secret shopper program, but then, she went to cash a check and found out she would be sending thousands of dollars to the Philippines.

Secret shoppers are common. Companies invite you with emails to shop at chain stores and then fill out surveys to evaluate customer service. When Lorraine Jensen received her first assignment she noticed something wasn't quite right.

"On Thursday I got the packet and it had a check for $2,810, which I thought was unusual," said Jensen who has plenty of friends who work as secret shoppers as a side business to make extra money when times are tough. "I mean we're on a limited income so if I could make a little extra money...and $300 for doing what they asked me to do was pretty good."

Jensen has been donating plasma to earn some extra cash for Christmas presents and this was just another way to cover basic costs. The emails started coming more often after she responded with some contact information. Everything seemed normal right up until she received her first assignment, cashing a seemingly legitimate check, but one that was really nothing but an imposter.

"When the check didn't actually clear then I would be liable to pay that money back," she said.

The check even had a fake fraud detector complete with watermarks. But when Jensen checked the routing numbers, they did not exist with the credit union. Luckily, Jensen was smart enough to catch the scam and wants others to learn from it.

"A lot of times older people get scammed, but this type of scam, a secret shopper could be anyone… If it sounds too good to be true, it is."

The money was never sent to the Philippines, but Jensen says she has spoken with other locals who have had similar scam experiences with secret shoppers. She's worried that scammers are preying on vulnerable people who are just trying to make some extra cash for the holidays.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Benton-Franklin Health District hosts youth suicide prevention summit

    Benton-Franklin Health District hosts youth suicide prevention summit

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 8:05 PM EDT2018-09-19 00:05:57 GMT
    KENNEWICK: it's a sad reality, but in the last year the Tri-Cities community has lost 25 people to suicide. Local health experts are trying to get a handle on this problem. 12 of those 25 people who died from suicide were kids and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24. That's why a room full of medical clinicians, local organizations and school nurses join together to talk suicide prevention at a summit Tuesday morning. Local health experts we talked to say young people commi...More >>
    KENNEWICK: it's a sad reality, but in the last year the Tri-Cities community has lost 25 people to suicide. Local health experts are trying to get a handle on this problem. 12 of those 25 people who died from suicide were kids and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24. That's why a room full of medical clinicians, local organizations and school nurses join together to talk suicide prevention at a summit Tuesday morning. Local health experts we talked to say young people commi...More >>
  • Motorcyclist injured after colliding with school bus in Pasco

    Motorcyclist injured after colliding with school bus in Pasco

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 5:20 PM EDT2018-09-18 21:20:53 GMT

    A motorcyclist is in critical condition after driving into the back of a Pasco School District school bus. 

    More >>

    A motorcyclist is in critical condition after driving into the back of a Pasco School District school bus. 

    More >>
  • Kennewick Police searching for people who burglarized and trashed a food truck

    Kennewick Police searching for people who burglarized and trashed a food truck

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 12:12 PM EDT2018-09-18 16:12:44 GMT

    Kennewick Police are investigating a burglary at Taco Zone where they took items and vandalized it, cutting wires and damaging appliances.

    More >>

    Kennewick Police are investigating a burglary at Taco Zone where they took items and vandalized it, cutting wires and damaging appliances.

    More >>