Blount County Sheriff’s Office warns of ‘mystery shoppers’ email scam

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about an email scam making the rounds.

Sheriff James Lee Berrong said their office has taken calls about people being contacted to be “mystery shoppers” for local stores like CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Best Buy and Target.

The scam involves receiving a phony check from ‘Texas Capital Bank’ in the amount of $2,100. The perpetrators ask recipients in a letter sent with the check to purchase an E-Bay gift card worth $1,700 and send the card’s information to a phone number listed in the letter.

“Scams such as this are nothing new, but since the COVID pandemic hit, the criminal element has amped up their game and they are taking advantage of people who are looking for work or a way to make extra money,” Sheriff Berrong said. “I do not want any of our citizens to fall victim to this scam. That is a lot of money to lose. Please use caution. If it sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is.”

A BCSO post said there have been no local reports of people losing money. If you believe you have been targeted, you’re asked to call the sheriff’s office at 865-273-5000.

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