Officials are warning the public about a long-running and deceptive scam that has returned to the Hudson Valley.

People across the country and in the Hudson Valley are receiving letters in the mail, accompanied by large checks, that invite them to earn extra money as mystery shoppers, police say.

According to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs, the letters instruct you to deposit the check, wire a portion of the money using Western Union or Money Gram, keep a portion as pay and use a portion of that to purchase merchandise.

You are then told to contact the person named in the letter for further instructions.

“The check is fraudulent. You are being scammed,” the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a press release. “The bank will hold you responsible for the total amount you withdraw from your account."

Officials advise never wire money to an unknown person and never cash an unsolicited check from an unknown sender.

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