Wal-Mart poseur attempts to con Carbondale resident

By Gus Bode

Similar incidents occur around the country

A warning to area Wal-Mart shoppers:scammers may be targeting you.

A Carbondale citizen reported a call from a man claiming to be from the Wal-Mart Corporation on Saturday, according to Carbondale Police Sgt. Paul Echols.


The caller allegedly told the citizen he or she had won a $500 gift certificate to Wal-Mart and asked for the person’s address and bank routing numbers in order to accept it, Echols said.

“The citizen became suspicious and did not provide the information and called the police department to report the incident,” Echols said.

Carbondale Wal-Mart manager Tiffany Lucas said she had not heard about the scam.

Wal-Mart released a statement on its company Web site to alert customers about the phone solicitation scam. The letter states that anyone who believes he is a victim should contact the Federal Trade Commission. The scam has been reported throughout the United States.

A letter on the Illinois attorney general’s Web site explains how to respond to potential phone call scams.

According to the letter, a person should ask for the name, address and phone number of the company the caller is claiming to represent. He should then check them out with the Better Business Bureau or another consumer agency before agreeing to anything.

Additionally, the letter advises people to question any phone calls about prize offers, because the prizes offered are often worthless or overpriced or the presentation is actually an intensive sales pitch.


Carbondale Police Sgt. Don Priddy from the department said such scams happen rarely, and they have had no reports regarding phone scams since Saturday.

Reporter Andrew E. Voris can be reached at [email protected]