Grandmother scammed after 'landing' job posted online

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by Mike Colombo / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 26 at 6:40 PM

MARION COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV) -- A local grandmother feels victimized discovering a job she thought she landed at Walmart never existed.

Beth Hall says she spends her days watching her grandson at her home in rural Alma, Illinois.

But she’s looking for extra income. She recently thought she found it when answering an online ad for a secret shopper.

“He had text-messaged me one night and said, ‘congratulations you have been approved to be one of our secret shoppers,’” said Hall.

Hall thought she had a job with Walmart. She received instructions in the mail and a money order for $950.

“So I took it to the bank and (my grandson) went and cashed it with me,” she said. “I did what they told me to do, which was go shopping, buy a $50 fan, which I needed because of the heat, with that baby.”

But then she was told to wire money to “other” secret shoppers.

“They told me to wire this woman, Ebony Jennings, $750 to Georgia. I did, I did exactly what I was told,” said Hall.

It turns out the original money order was bogus and Hall was actually wiring her own money.

She has lost almost $1,000.

“We’re poor and money doesn’t grow on trees. Do they actually enjoy hurting people like this? That really hurt. I was devastated. I cried and I cried and I cried,” Hall said.

A Walmart spokesperson told News 4 the company does not even have a secret shopper program.

Here are some tips to remember when answering job ads online:

Never give out personal information before you are hired.

And if you get a check in the mail, always have your bank check it out to make sure it’s real.

Hall says she’s certainly learned her lesson.

“When it says secret shopper and you’re going to get something, you’re going to get something. It’s called the shaft!”

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