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News Releases

Scam / Fraud Alert - "Esteemed Secret Shopper"

Date of News Release: 10/31/2014

(LONDON, KY.) - The Kentucky State Police Post 11, London has received several reports of a scam / fraud that targets victims on the internet.

The scam/fraud is being referred to as "Esteemed Secret Shopper". Victims are reporting that they were sent a fraudulent check by mail to deposit in their bank account in order to purchase pre-paid credit cards at various local businesses in the area. Victims are told this is part of a private company that evaluates employee performance and reports back to their supervisors. After the cards are purchased, the victims are asked to text the card information to different phone numbers that were provided to them by "Esteemed Secret Shopper". For the victim"s participation, they are told to keep a portion of the money only to find out days later that the original check provided was fraudulent and that they are out all the money they spent on the pre-paid cards.

The Kentucky State Police, Post 11 urges the public to remember several basic guidelines in regards to their personal information and bank accounts.

  • Never deposit a check unless you are sure of where it came from.
  • Never send money, via PayPal, Western Union or any other money transfer service to receive a prize or reimbursement of any kind.
  • Never give personal information out over the phone or internet unless you have initiated contact and know who you are speaking to.
  • Immediately call or visit your bank to report suspicious activity on your account that appears concerning or questionable.
  • If you are a victim of this type of scam you should contact a law enforcement agency in your area.

Most importantly, remember that scams and frauds increase during the holiday season.