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Flagler woman warns of potential 'secret shopper' scam

 A woman in Flagler County is the latest to receive a letter and a check from a business that claims to offer a job. (WFTV)
A woman in Flagler County is the latest to receive a letter and a check from a business that claims to offer a job. (WFTV)
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Updated: 11/30/2013 8:44 am
FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. (WFTV) -- A woman in Flagler County is the latest to receive a letter and a check from a business that claims to offer a job, but it could be a scam targeting those desperate to make some extra Christmas cash.

The woman called the Flagler County Sheriff's Office to make them aware of the potential scam letter, but she said because she didn't become a victim herself they didn't take her information.

Donna Carvalho's normal routine of taking care of family was interrupted when she received this letter in the mail.

"Yeah I looked at it quite a bit because it looked like it was real," Carvalho said. 

The letter, accompanied by a check claiming to be from Prudential Bank for nearly $1,600, states the money is pre-payment for a job Carvalho applied for.

"Yeah it's like a secret shopper job or something like that, you go and evaluate businesses," Carvalho said. 

"I knew it wasn't true because I didn't apply for nothing."

Instructions state the first business she was to evaluate as part of her "new home-based job" was Western Union.

She was to cash the check in her personal bank account and send a large portion by Western Union to another account.

Then, her second job was to spend a much smaller portion at the stores listed, and fill out a survey on her experience.

Eyewitness News tried calling the number listed on the form to get more information but it was unavailable.

Carvalho may have been wise enough not to fall for the potential scam but she said she's afraid, because of the timing of the letter, that others might.

"I think people that are having a hard time with Christmas money, bills or whatever, would probably do it," Carvalho said. 

She called the Sheriff's Office, but said they did not make a report.

"They told me to go online and fill out an online thing and they may or may not be interested," Carvalho said. 

Eyewitness News tried to call the Sheriff's Office to find out if they had other complaints regarding this letter but no one was available to comment.
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