Shoppers' View Blog

How to spot a mystery shopping scam

Every so often, we get asked about scammers in our industry. The good news is: most of the shopping programs are NOT scams, but we would like to share with you how to avoid a scam and be a real mystery shopper!

Unfortunately, scams disguised as mystery shopping are out there. Shoppers' View wants to help you be on the lookout for these fraudulent offers. Here's what to look for to prevent becoming a victim of such scams and what you can do if you have already been victimized. 


What mystery shopping scams look like:

Emails/ads/letters/phone calls asking you to cash a money order/check, wire it back, and keep a large fee ($300-$1000) for yourself. Any company that sends you a check in the mail before you do an assignment for them is fraudulent. They will often state it is for a mystery shopping opportunity at Wal-Mart, MoneyGram, or Western Union.

  • Shoppers' View only pays through PayPal to keep your account information private and secure. We do not issue checks.

Emails/ads/letters/phone calls promising great deals and lucrative opportunities in mystery shopping but require a registration fee or subscription. Many times, these jobs do not exist, but if the job is legitimate, it can be found for free elsewhere. Real companies pay you to complete these projects, not the other way around.

  • Shoppers' View never charges shoppers for job placements or mystery shopping information.

These "companies" often use names that are similar to existing reputable companies.

  • There is only one Shoppers' View. We are located in Grand Rapids, MI (formerly in Belmont, MI).

 

How to prevent becoming a victim:

Never cash or deposit a money order/check that is issued before completion of an assignment or issued with an expectation to wire some or all of it back.

Never pay anyone to mystery shop or for mystery shopping information.

Research the company. Is it part of the MSPA www.mspa-na.org? Are they listed with the Better Business Bureau www.bbb.org? Ask around about them on www.volition.com/forums.

Sign up with legitimate companies. You can find them at:

What to can do if you are a victim or believe you have received a fake check with a "mystery shopping" offer:

  • Contact your local (non-emergency) number for the police.
  • Report to the FTC at 877-382-4357 or www.ftc.gov
  • File a complaint with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center www.ic3.gov
  • If you are in Canada, report to the Canadian PhoneBusters at 888-495-8501.

If you are interested in legitimate mystery shopping work, please visit our website to register (which is free): www.shoppersview.com or watch this shopper sign-up video below. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.