Mystery Shopping Scams
A number of retailers hire marketing examines companies to assess the value of service in their stores; these companies make use of mystery shoppers
to get the details secretly. They allocate a mystery shopper to build a exacting acquire in a store or restaurant, for example, and then statement on the experience. Usually, the shopper is reimbursed, and can remain the products. Various professionals in the field believe mystery shopping a part-time movement, at best. And, they include, opportunities normally are posted online by advertising study or merchandising companies.
The reality is that it is redundant to give money to anybody to acquire into the mystery shopper business. The shopping official recognition obtainable in advertise or unwanted email is more or less always worthless. A list of companies that take into service mystery shoppers is accessible for free; and rightful mystery shopper jobs are on the online for free. Customers who try to get a repayment from promoters of mystery shopping jobs normally are out of chance. Moreover the business does not return the phone calls, or if it does, it is to try another field.
We have compiled a list of several reliable online scam fighting agencies to help you keep up to date on current and past Mystery Shopping alert scams
and its types.
Facts of Mystery Shopping
- Becoming a rightful mystery shopper for a rightful company does not charge anything.
- Perform your homework regarding mystery shopping. Ensure libraries, bookstores, or internet sites for instructions on how to come across rightful companies hiring mystery shoppers, as well as how to do the work successfully.
- Search the online for reviews and remarks regarding mystery shopping companies that are accept applications internet.
- Do not disburse a fee to become a mystery shopper. Rightful companies do not blame people to work for them they pay people to work for them.
You can see the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website at mysteryshop.org to look for a database of mystery shopper coursework and gain knowledge of how to apply for them. The MSPA offers guarantee programs for a fee, but you do not require "certification" to appear or apply for coursework in its database. Promote for mystery shoppers in a newspaper's 'help wanted' part or by email. At the same time it may show as if these companies are hiring mystery shoppers, it is a large amount further likely that they are diving needless and probably fake mystery shopping "services."
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How the mystery shopper scam works:
The operation of this scam is similar to the "work from home scam'. The scam organiation places a legitimate ad in a decent classified listing, in print or online for the job of a mystery shopper, secret shooper or a ciustomer service evaluator. Some of the scammers short list resume profiles from reputed job portals and send them mails with job descriptions.
The scammer tells the victims that they are short listed and hired as a secret shopper and they will receive money orders in order to use in their projects. Their job is to review the service at a money gram location assigned to them. The scammers cleverly asks the victim to wire money from the money order that they have received, and send back a filled evaluation sheet to the company.
Innocent victims believe that the money orders will be received within 10 business days and hurry up to finish the assignmenst before time and wire the money from their own accounts. Many victims have ended up with negative bank balances at the end of the assignment.
Cautions about Mysetery Shopper Scams:
Scam artists are using the name of reputed business companies in an attempt to fool unsuspecting consumers into cashing these fake checks. It is recorded that many consumers are receiving checks along with a letter in the name of reputed companies like the Service Excellence Group logo, the Mystery Shopping Providers Association logo (MSPA), the Better Business logo (BBB), and the National Speaker Association logo (NSA) on their communication. The information is being verified with the legitimate companies and it has come to notice that scammers are using these names in order to scam victims for money.
• As the Fakecheck.org website states, "There is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check, cashier's check or money order and ask you to wire money in return."
• The average compensation for a standard mystery shopping assignment is $15. Be cautious of any job posting claiming to send you large sums of money for a mystery shopping assignment.
• A reputable mystery shopping firm will capture your contact information via a company reporting platform. Kindly do not fill up any forms sent to you via emails.
Ways to proect yourself from secret shopper or mystery shopper scams:
• It is always a better practice to verify the email address and the details of the company before accepting the job offer.
• It is vital to know that money gram does not use secret shopper service. Any comapnt that offers you a job to mystery shop at money gram is a scam
• Western Union uses secret shopper service but the secret shoppers are never paid by cashier checks or money orders. Companies that offer payment by the above mentioned means should be verified before accepting the job offer.
• Verify the legitimate list of secret/ mystery shopper companies before accepting proposals from any companies. http://www.mysteryshop.org/
Some of the important resources that might help victims being scammed in the name of mystery shopper or secret shoppers:
Victims who have been scammed by such bogus companies can report the email address and name of the company to the below mentioned resources and expect to indemnify their losses.
Victims for these scams can report it to all of the same places as a Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam, including
If you have fallen victim to secret or mystery shopper scam, or if you have been contacted by scammers, it is advisable to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC also offers information about mystery shopping and the Mystery Shopping Providers Association at this link: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0053-mystery-shopper-scams
. When you report an experience about one scammer, the FTC makes sure that users are made aware of these scammers and other victims are protected from falling prey to such scams.
Prevention is always better than cure. It is always good to beware of different types of scams and the methodologies used by scammers to cheat victims. The below mentioned screenshot is an extract from scamwatch.org, that provides information to users about secret shopper scam. Mentioned are the ways to protect yourself from mystery shopper scam and ways to report these scammers.
Real time Examples of mystery shopper scam:
The below mentioned screenshot describes the story of a husband and a wife who happened to receive an unexpected check of almost $2000 from walmart. They were asked to deposit the check for some mystery shopper assignment. It was a scam which they happened to realize later. After which walmart has issued a serious warning about mystery shopper scam that is operating in the name of walmart sending fake checks in order to scam victims.
Below mentioned is another story of a victim describing the experience for mystery shopper scam. It is observed that the victim received a letter from 'Experian Consumer Research group" along with a legitimate looking check of $4200. When the details of this company were verified, they came to know that many other users had received similar letters and checks and it was recorded as pure fraud. Mystery shopper fraud was done by scammers sending users with similar letters ads and checks.
This is to inform you that we received a cheque Bank Draft from a Reverend Father irrespective of a cheque that we are suppose to send to you through our western union money transfer, so in regard to this issue you are request to file the form attached to this email and send bank to us immediately.
Example of what a mystery shopper scam letter would look like:
The below image is an example of how a scam letter for secret/mystery shopper assignment would look like. Also highlighted are the points that the victim should keep in mind that might raise suspicion for a scam.