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Secret shopper scam uses fake checks

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Getting paid to shop sounds too good to be true.
The better business bureau sent a warning about the return of a shopping scam.  This time, con artists ripped off both consumers and banks.

It was a scam involving secret shoppers.  Michelle Falco nearly became a victim when she got a letter claiming to be from Home Depot with a check for almost $1,500.  She was supposed to shop at Home Depot's competitors and return any money she didn't use.
The scam  works by the victim depositing the check and getting funds from the bank, going shopping, then wiring back what's left to the con artists.  That cash goes to another country then days or weeks later the bank finds out the check was a fake and the victim must pay the bank back.

Michelle said, "I thought it would be cool.  You'd be able to shop, keep your product and, you know, make money.  I'm struggling right now financially and I was like, 'This can't be real.'"

Michelle's instincts were right, she never deposited the check and her bank confirmed it was a fake.  Home Depot said a person should call and verify any offers they receive that use the Home Depot name.
That's a good rule for any company.

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