Consumer Alert: Woman lured into shopping scam - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Consumer Alert: Woman lured into shopping scam

Diana McKay thought she landed the perfect job until she realized it was a scam. Diana McKay thought she landed the perfect job until she realized it was a scam.
One woman truly believed she found the perfect work-at-home job, until she realized it was all a sham.

"I didn't have a lot. I'm a widow. My money is limited. I watch every penny I have. I know where every penny goes," says Diana McKay, a victim of fraud.

McKay was on unemployment and constantly applying for jobs online. She was thrilled when she was offered a job as a mystery shopper.

Initially, she received a few money orders in the mail and was told to deposit them into her account.

"Take out $20 to purchase anything I wanted at Walmart and to report back on how the transaction was handled," says McKay.

She was then told to go to the Western Union counter in the store and wire back the rest of the money to her employer immediately.

Then, she was sent a new batch of money orders.

"They didn't realize these were counterfeit money orders they were receiving and the whole job is a scam," says Brian Plants, a U.S. Postal Inspector.

Postal inspectors say McKay began feeling something wasn't quite right, so for the next round she proceeded with caution.

"I deposited the $3,400 dollars in money orders at that time. I called him and I told him, 'Until these money orders clear, I cannot carry out this assignment. I do not have $3,400 in my bank account,'" says McKay.

After several days, her bank told her the money orders were fake.

Postal inspectors say this scam is on the rise.

"The United States Postal Inspection Services, UPS, and FedEx seized $96 million in counterfeit money orders or fake checks coming into the United States," says Plants.

Postal inspectors warn all consumers to be especially careful when they're offered a job online.

McKay learned her lesson.

"Be cautious. Don't trust everything you see," says McKay.

Postal inspectors say you should always be wary of any offer that requires you to deposit a check or money order into your account and send money back to an employer. It's usually a sure sign of a scam.

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