ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a scam that involves completing a fake Walmart customer survey.

According to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s office on Wednesday, March 3, even Sheriff G.S. Funkhuser and Chief Deputy Tony McFaddin received a text from the scammers, asking them to complete a Walmart customer survey to earn $300.

If you respond to the text, you will reportedly receive a letter, a survey, and a $2,380 fraudulent check through USPS Priority mail. The scammers will then ask you to deposit the fraudulent check into your account, immediately draw out $2,000 before the check clears, and purchase five $400 gift cards with your money.

The scammers will say you can keep $300 for yourself and donate the other $80 to a charity. When you give them the gift card numbers they will immediately take your $2,000. The fraudulent check will then be returned from the bank to you because it is drawn on a fake account and you will be out $2,000 of your money.

Walmart is aware of scammers sending fake surveys out to the public. They say the following are signs of fraudulent surveys:

  • Poor grammar
  • Poor spelling
  • Outdated logos or branding (e.g. use of Wal-Mart or WAL-MART, instead of Walmart)
  • There is often fine print disclosing that the offer is not associated with the brand listed
  • To receive the “free” gift card, you are asked to complete several steps and to request that several of your friends complete the same steps

In order to protect yourself from fake survey scams, Walmart says not to open or respond to unsolicited e-mails, internet pop-up ads, or text messages indicating you’ve won a gift card or asking that you complete a survey. You also shouldn’t click on or respond to online ads or websites offering free gift cards.