Okeechobee woman is victim of a scam

OKEECHOBEE — After losing $2,450, a local woman contacted the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office to report that she was the victim of a scam. Deputy Shane Bogner spoke to the woman, who told him she had received a text message supposedly from Walmart, congratulating her on being selected to complete a survey. The text told her a package would be delivered to her address, and it was. The package contained $2,450 in cashier’s checks from Chase Bank and an instructional packet with an assignment she was supposed to complete. She was to deposit the cashier’s check into her account and then purchase $1,000 in eBay gift cards and another $1,000 in Walmart gift cards. She was to scratch off the cards and take pictures and text back the pictures. The remaining $450 was her payment for the assignment.

After she deposited the cashier’s check, she received a text from Private Mart Auditors Inc. (PMA) stating the funds were valid, and because she believed the company was legitimate, she completed the assignment. She did not realize she had been scammed until her bank contacted her. The money to pay for the gift cards had come out of her own account, and the cashier’s check was no good.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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