Action 9

Walmart detects scam, saves teen hundreds of dollars

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. — An Indian Trail teenager almost sent scammers hundreds of dollars, but Walmart picked up on the con and stopped him from falling victim.

Karen Ernsberger was happy for her son, Cory. He was looking for a job and went on the popular website He signed himself up to do house-sitting and pet-sitting, and he had a taker.

"This family was moving and relocating to Charlotte, and so they wanted him to get prepared to watch their pets," Karen told Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke.


It turned out to be a scam. People were trying to get Cory to shell out money for them -- money they'd never reimburse.

"It just breaks your heart to know that there's just people out that are intentionally trying to deceive people and make money on them," Karen said.

Cory went along with it. He transferred some of the money through his bank. Then, the scammers asked him to transfer more money -- $360 more -- using MoneyGram.


That's when things changed. Cory went to the Walmart in Matthews. Workers there suspected a scam, so they asked him about the situation and didn't let him go through with it.

Walmart emailed Stoogenke and said it has policies to "guard against these types of crimes," and that it trains employees "to be aware of potential threats."

"It was huge. That's why I went back to them with tears and I told the manager, 'I just want you to know, thank you for doing your job,'" Karen said.

As for Cory, he found a different job. He also filed a police report and was able to get his bank to undo the other transaction before it was too late to get the money back.


Legally, if a person goes to a store and tries to get $5,000 or more in gift cards, the business has to ask certain questions first. It's all part of the Patriot Act -- the law targeting terrorism.  Since Cory wasn't asking for that much, Walmart didn't have to intervene, but did anyway.

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