News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Dec. 7, 2012
JOHNSTON, S.C. -- It sounds like a fun and easy way to make a little extra money for the holidays, but the Johnston Police Department is warning their residents about a secret shopping scam will leave you broke.
Investigators say several citizens have come to them after getting ripped off. The most recent case involved a woman who lost more than a thousand dollars.
The scam works this way: A company located out of the United States sends you a check to go on a shopping spree. The company asks you to cash the check and to send a portion back to them. The check later comes up as bad and you are stuck with the bill.
"You know if you are not sure and you've received a check in the mail from someone you've never heard of before or don't even know, get your local authorities and get it checked out or go to your local bank and get them to check it," Chief Chris Aston warned.
Crimes like the secret shopping scam are very difficult for law enforcement to solve since they usually originate out of the country.