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Local bank warning of secret shopper scam sending people fake cashier’s checks

HOLDEN, Mo. -- A secret shopper scam is targeting thousands of customers across the country.

The fraudulent cashier's check comes in the mail with a promise of a free shopping spree. But administrators at F&C Bank in Holden said you shouldn't cash it.

Kathleen Kephart, executive vice president of the Holden bank, said they've received more than 100 calls since April from customers who received these checks.

"We have received calls all the way from Washington to Florida. This is not just in the local area. This is all over," she said. "Most of the checks are arriving via Fed Ex."

The fraud is disguised as an opportunity.

The check comes in the mail with a job offer as a secret shopper. Customers are told to deposit the check and then head to the store to buy the gift cards.

"The crooks are doing all of this fast. As soon as the person buys the gift cards, they take a picture of it that shows the validation number and sends that to the person who is giving it to them," Kephart said.

Debbie Carnnahan also received a fraudulent check in the mail and brought it to the bank.

"She looked at it and wanted to send it off to the fraud department. A week later, she called me back and said it was fraudulent. Do not ever cash these checks," Carnnahan said.

Kephart said if you are not sure if something is authentic or a scam, it's always best to call your local bank.

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