Watch for the mystery shopper scam

The Better Business Bureau is telling citizens to be on the watch for a mystery shopper scam.

In a release, the BBB states that consumers in the 42-county area which includes west Georgia, east Alabama and southwest Georgia, have been receiving mail from a company purporting to be from a secret customer employment firm stating that the consumer has been chosen to the represent the company as a secret shopper.

This mail includes a cashier's' check for $4,870 that is to be used for shopping along with instructions to call a telephone number for detailed instructions.

Some consumers say that they have received this mailing after responding to a newspaper ad regarding coupons while others have received it as direct mail.

This money is to be used for a $50 at Wal-Mart, a $40 purchase at The Gap, and the remainder, less $680 for training and expenses, is to be spent sending a Money Gram of $1,300 and Western Union Transfer of $2,600 to a person's name provided by the company.

The consumer is to pretend that the person is a relation.

The BBB has determined the cashier's check is counterfeit, therefore,. if the consumer uses the check to sent the Money Grams or to make the Western Union Transfer, the con artist will end up with the cash and the consumer will be liable for the money by the bank.

The BBB advises anyone receiving an unexpected check from an unknown company to contact the BBB or to take it to the bank for verification.

For information, call the BBB at 706-324-0712. The BBB is located at 500 12th Street in Columbus.