MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 75-year-old man is sounding the alarm to keep anyone from becoming the victim of a vicious scam.
Leon Talada is still working full-time. But like many, the maintenance professional could also use a little extra cash.
"That's the original email," he said of the letter he got offering him to be a mystery shopper. "You click on that to sign up and that's what I did."
He said he got the email in January.
"I have heard of people doing the mystery shopping - going to restaurants, buying something at Walmart of the various stores," Talada said.
He said he signed up using his name, address, phone number and birth date.
Then he waited about a month.
"Then all of a sudden, one day a message on my phone said a check that was sent out should be delivered today," Talada said.
He said the check came in a USPS priority mail envelope from a company based in Idaho, but the check itself was from a bank based in Pennsylvania.
"I got the check, and a couple seconds later I got another text warning me to verify that I had received the check," he said.
He saw red flags. So he brought the nearly $4,000 check to his representative at First Tennessee Bank to check it out.
They figured out it was a fake check. But he said if he hadn’t been suspicious and asked, he would've thought he deposited it, spent it and then lost that much money from his account.
"They hit the right age if they were looking to target the elderly," he said. "I just really want to let people know not to get scammed that way."
He said he tried calling the number that was texting him, but nothing went through.
Now he's letting others know some things may just be too good to be true.
Talada said he planned to report itto the FBI and says he knows other victims.
WREG reached out to the FBI to get advice for other consumers but hadn't heard back yet.