Legitimate mystery shopping opportunities are out there, but so are plenty of scams. If an opportunity is genuine, you won’t have to pay an application fee or deposit a cheque or wire money to someone else.
Don’t do business with mystery shopper promoters who:
- Advertise for mystery shoppers in a newspaper’s ‘help wanted’ section, by email or a facebook or google advert.
- Charge a fee to access mystery shopping opportunities.
- Sell directories of companies that employ mystery shoppers
- You are offered a high payment amount for a relatively easy assignment. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
- Beware of a large cheque that you are to deposit into you bank account, send most of the money to the sender and keep the balance as your fee.
Some important details to remember:
- Mystery shopping companies DON’T offer a salary.
- They REQUIRE you to register an application form within their administration system.
- They NEVER send an assignment offer to a shopper who does not already have log in details and a password for their system.
- They ALWAYS allow you to view your profile on their system, and check your shopper history with them.
- They will ALWAYS carry out a briefing with you, usually over the phone, before you carry out any work for them.
- They will ALWAYS provide a detailed evaluation form and completion instructions on how to carry out the evaluation.
- They will ALWAYS instruct you how to use the reporting system on their site.
- Legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them – they pay people to work for them.
| IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PLEASE READThe Mystery Shoppers Providers Association has advised us that a new scam regarding bogus mystery shopping visits involving Money Transfers which has been operating in the US, has now spread to the UK.
Evaluators are asked to cash a large sum cashier’s cheque and then send the money to another location, typically outside the country. In exchange for evaluating the service received, evaluators are offered a percentage of the original cheque which, however, bounces a few days later leaving the evaluator liable for the entire amount.
We understand that the scammers are using the names of legitimate mystery shopping companies in the introductory letter to secure evaluator co-operation. In addition, the cashier’s cheque contains the name of a real bank and looks genuine.
Evaluators should be aware that genuine Mystery Shopping companies do not do any work with Money Transfer companies and if offered any such visits by anyone purporting to be connected to a Mystery Shopping Agency then please do not accept the assignment.