New secret shopper scam appearing in St. Louis area

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 11 at 7:26 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A new scam is moving through the St. Louis area. It starts with a tempting offer but could cost residents hundreds to thousands of dollars.

An $800 check arrives in the mail just as residents need extra cash for christmas shopping. Lilly Clevenger of Lake St. Louis said she received such a check, and almost took it.

 “i wanted it!” she said. “It was really tempting!”

The Fedex packaging made it look official, and the offer certainly sounded good, but Clevenger knew it was too good to be true.

 “No money is ever free like that,” she said. “If you want to make easy money it’s never going to be like that.”

Lake St. Louis Police Chief Mike Force says that ‘too good to be true’ mentality is one residents need to adopt.

Force says officers have seen the scam, and several versions of it, dozens of times. Residents get a money order with  instructions to deposit the cash and then send some back.

“The criminals pray on that temptation to get fast cash and then later you find out that it was bogus to begin with,” said Force. The chief has actually been targted several times, and says the perpatrators can be relentless. “The fourth time they actually put the money in my account!” he said. 

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