The Mystery Shopper Scam list is several scams that target mystery shoppers. It is lucrative because people believe it is real and they expect to make a nice profit. People looking for work , apply to an ad for becoming a mystery shopper.
Applicants receive check with instructions to to deposit and cash the check. The proceeds are used for their assignment of buying merchandise. Finally, they send the merchandise to the sender. And keep the balance for a nice profit from the transaction.
Unfortunately, the check is completely bogus, and people are on the hook to pay for it. Scammers see opportunity in every business and will trick you in every way they can. That’s why I created the mystery shopper scam list.
Sadly, it’s a list that unfortunately will continue to grow.
Mystery Shoppers Scam List
What is Mystery Shopping?
Retailers hire companies that use mystery shoppers to evaluate the quality of service in their stores. A mystery shopper will make a particular purchase in a store or restaurant and then provide feedback on the experience. Afterwards, they fill out a survey form that details exactly what they experienced.
In this way, businesses are provided feedback on the entire shopping experience. These surveys also rates employee actions and the service they received. In turn, this helps businesses improve the experience and increase their repeat customers..
If you are looking at becoming a mystery shopper for some additional income in these hard times, then be aware it does not pay very well. But, mystery shoppers can keep the product or service. And have the purchased cost reimbursed as well. Occasionally, the shopper will also receive a small payment as well.
Some mystery shoppers enjoy an opportunity to keep a product. The compensation is the reimbursement of the product. And, while Shopping, you will be busy collecting information to be reported later.
Travel expenses are not reimbursed. Sometimes, you may get a few dollars for your trouble. But, mystery shopping is not going to produce a full time income. You would need to do it for years, to become quite good at it and earn some decent money.
Full-Time Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs Are Available
ZipRecruiter reports some salaries for mystery shoppers as high as $105,000 and as low as 11,500 per year or $221 a week! The majority range from $20,500 to $49,500. This is after years in the field and becoming certified as a mystery shopper. These lucrative paying jobs require the very best rated mystery shoppers.
In reality, the average weekly pay is $800 per week. These are local jobs and do not require much travel. Travel matters a lot! To earn that much a week, you need 13 shopping trips a day that average $12 each. Not to mention, you have a survey to fill out on each shopping trip as well. It would be an exhausting 12-14hrs per day. And no reimbursement for your gas as well.
You also wait for 2-3 weeks for your reimbursement check to arrive. So be aware you need to finance all the purchases out of your own pocket for almost a month. If you don’t have funds to do that, you should consider something else.
Many professionals in the field consider mystery shopping a part-time activity, at best. You will find opportunities posted online by marketing research companies. Below is a list of legitimate mystery shopper Companies.
A List Of Legitimate Mystery Shopper Companies-Elite Members Of MSPA
- Bestmark – Covering over 13,000 cities and towns in USA and Canada
- Sinclair Customer Metrics – Offers Covid-19 Compliance Services
- Market Force – Delivering over 100,000 shops per month
- Intelli Shop – Offers Covid-19 Compliance Services
- 360 Intel – Field Audits, Feedback services, Management Audits
- A Closer Look – Evaluation Experts, 25+ Years Experience
- Alta 360 Research – Reporting And Analytics 40+ Years Experience
- Bare International – Mystery Shopping, Worldwide Workforce – 30 Years Experience
- Business Evaluation Services – Specialize In Mystery Shopping 70+ Years Experience
- Coast to Coast – Mystery Shopping and Marketing World Wide.
- Confero – Telephone and Onsite Mystery Shopping,30 Years Experience
- The Consumer Insight – Mystery Shopping, Compliance Audits, Customer Surveys.
- CXE – Mystery Shoppers, Management Training and Performance Measurement
- Customer First – A division of Business Evaluation Services- Mystery Shopping.
- CX Orlando – Mystery Shopping, Covid 19 Testing, Compliance Auditing.
- Elite CX Solutions – Mystery Shopping, Reputation Management, Customer Surveys.
- HS Brands – Mystery Shopping, Global Presence, Loss Prevention.
- JANCYN – Mystery Shopping, Performance Evaluations, Surveys.
- NWLPC -Loss Prevention Consultation, Reduce Risk, Mystery Shopping.
- Secret Shopper – Premier Mystery Shopping Company, Online, Onsite.
Visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website at mysteryshop.org
It is a database for searching mystery shopper assignments with instructions on how to apply for them. This is where you can legitimately apply for MSPA certification programs. There is a fee for MSPA certification, but the database is free to search for mystery shopper assignments.
Do Your Research On Mystery Shopping Companies.
- Check libraries, bookstores, and online sites for tips on legitimate companies hiring mystery shoppers. .
- Search the internet on mystery shopping companies that are accepting applications online. Positive reviews are sometimes fake..
- legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them – they pay people to work for them.
- Never wire money for a mystery shopping assignment.
Don’t Ever Pay Anyone To Work As A Mystery Shopper!
Scammers like to use newspaper ads and emails promoting mystery shopper jobs and charging fees to register. In addition, they create websites where(for a fee) you will get information, or a list. Maybe even a guarantee of a mystery shopping job. But, understand that free lists of legitimate mystery shoppers are available online.
Don’t fall for any ads requesting money. After you send your money to these promoters, they will not answer any of your calls, and you won’t get your money back.
The Money Gram Scam For Mystery Shoppers – Don’t Wire Money!
Victims think they have been hired as Mystery Shoppers. A a job assignment is given to check out money transfer services like Western Union or Moneygram. A check is issued to the victim to use for the transaction.
Along with the check, you get instructions to deposit the check, and withdraw the funds. You wire the money to a third party. Unwittingly, you believe you are checking out the money services. However, the check is phony. Now, you are on the hook for the money. Because it can takes weeks for checks to clear, the crooks and your money disappear.
Never deposit a check from someone you don’t know, and wire money to someone else.
Mystery Shopper Scams List:
These are a few of the scams that have been used to trick people who are looking for work, into falling for a scam. They basically all operate the same way. You get a check, deposit it, and use the funds to buy products that you then send to the scammer. They give what appears to be a nice profit with the check amount. Unfortunately, the check bounces and you owe the bank.
Bestmark Scam Is Placed On The Mystery Shopper Scams List
The scammers impersonate the Bestmark company using various methods such as emails, texts and ads. They market these as “mystery shopping opportunities”.
Once a person signs up to the “opportunity” a check is mailed to the victims. When the check is deposited, the victim is instructed to return a portion of the funds from the check. The remaining balance is to be kept as the victims “profit”
The checks are of course bogus. And the victims are left holding the bag. In addition to the money they sent the scammers, now they are hit with a hefty bounced check fee.
Walmart Scam Is Placed On The Mystery Shopper Scams List
The Better Business Bureau reported a scam involving Walmart Gift cards. A secret shopper job was offered to support Covid 19 supply disruptions caused the covid-19 lockdowns. Understaffing was creating a need for more workers.
A Memphis woman reported to the Better Business Bureau that she had received an offer in the mail to become a Walmart Secret shopper. The company, PMA Auditoria sent here information and a check for $1980. And, the company provided a website link to verify the check. After verification, the woman was told to deposit it. Not surprisingly, the website link was fake.
After withdrawing the funds, she was to visit two Walmart stores. Her assignment was to check the staff for wearing masks and to access the supply of essential products out of stock. And her secret shopper products to purchase were two $400 gift cards at each store. She would then take pictures of each gift card to send as proof to her supervisor.
Additionally, she was told to keep the cards in a safe place to use for her next assignment. And she could keep the remaining $380 as her wages.
Fortunately, this woman thought this might be a scam and contacted the BBB. They told her it was. Had she bought the cards and sent pictures of the numbers, she would have been on the hook for the money.
Jancyn Scam Is Placed On The Mystery Shopper Scam List
Another research company Jancyn posted a website warning for it’s customers that they will never send you a check. They send any payments directly to your Paypal account.
Here is what they have to say:
“The scam works like this: You are sent a bad check. You deposit it, you make the purchases, and then are instructed to mail the merchandise to the scammer. Then, the check you have deposited bounces. Similar scams have been noted in which you are sent a bad check and asked to wire a lesser amount via Western Union, and keep the balance.”
“Please DO NOT deposit any check purporting to be from Jancyn. Jancyn ONLY pays shoppers via PayPal. Payments are sent 5-6 weeks after a successful shop is completed. Forms are NEVER sent as a Word document email attachment, and our email communications come from Jancyn.com. We do not ever send assignments via snail mail.”
“If you receive any suspicious offers claiming to be from Jancyn, please forward any information to firstname.lastname@example.org”.
NWLPC Scam Is Placed On The Mystery Shopper Scams List
This scam warning now appears on their website. NWLPC is warning all mystery shoppers not to cash any checks they receive. Here is what the message said:
“Scam warning – if you received a letter and a check from NWLPC please do not cash it. NWLPC did not send you this check, it is a scam”.
“If you received one of these checks please contact me immediately so that we can investigate the scam”. Thank You
Tips For Avoiding Mystery Shopping Scams
When To Avoid Any Mystery Shopper Scams
- Promoters post ads in a newspaper’s ‘help wanted’ section or by email for Mystery Shoppers.
- Charge a fee for “certification.”
- Guarantee a job as a Mystery Shopper.
- Charge a fee to access Mystery Shopping opportunities.
- Sell lists of companies that hire Mystery Shoppers.
- Ask you to deposit a check and wire some or all of the money to someone.
Are You A Victim Of Any Mystery Shopper Scams?
Victims of any Mystery Shopper scams should contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a report here:
- Also file a report with your state Attorney General
- File a local police report as well.
If you have any stories of any experiences you have had with Mystery Shoppers Scams, or have any questions, please leave them below. I always answer my readers.
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6 thoughts on “A Mystery Shopper Scams List”
I believe I have been approached by a Mystery Shopper Scam. The email address was email@example.com
Sent me cashier check for $2390.73. Supposed to deposit or cash. Keep $295 as commission. Listed several stores I could choose. Purchase $45 worth of groceries ( to keep) and 2 $500 Amex Cards. At second store buy 2 $500 cards. Take pics of cards, keep for later use. After reading some of your articles I realize the scam is sending them the photos of the cards. I also noticed the letter didn’t really have a company name and there were a few grammatical errors. I would think if Amex hired them, their letters should be perfect. I can forward you a cc of letter and check if you want. Should I send to BBB? It seemed to good to be true. He also signed letter and had phone no ( Leroy Reis 961-581-4624). Should I tell them I’ve decided not to do and where should I return check?
I googled Eminent Shopper and found two links in “ typical” scam countries Sri Lanka and Nigeria.
You figured it out! That is a scam. And Yes, sending them the pictures of the cards reveals the gift card number, They will use those numbers to cash out the gift cards.
You are also correct about the company name. It would be there if it was legit. If you try to cash the check, you will be liable for any fees for a bad check. Uncovering a fake check can take weeks!
There is a website at eminentshopper dot com, and it appears to be legit. Their phone number is the same. 916-581-4624. But, It could be a fake site.
What I would do is contact the FTC and speak to them, and see what they know about Eminent Shopper. Here is the link: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0053-mystery-shopper-scams
I always recommend talking to the FTC and the Attorney General. They are the people who will legally do something.
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Telephone: (202) 326-2222
When you go to the FTC site, you will see more information on what to do. They give you a site to check for legit mystery shopping jobs: mysteryshop.org You can contact them and see if the eminent shopper dot com is a real mystery shopper.
But, I would NOT cash or deposit that check until you have researched them. I would get some answers about that check from The FTC or The Attorney General in your state, before you do anything with it. My guess is they may want a copy to help them investigate, but I can’t say for sure.
Again, the scam is the gift cards they are telling you to purchase. Don’t do that!
I hope that helps, and let me know if you need anything else. I will help in any way I can.
Keep yourself safe,
There’s are lots and lots of people who are victims of scams every day. This nemesis causes a lot of problems for everyone who are kept aware of it. We should be very enlightened about what scams us and how they operate. By using things like this mystery shopper scams list, this will definitely help people know more about them. Thank you for helping to educate people.
Yes, people are scammed everyday. That is why I try to keep them informed and help keep them from becoming victims. The Mystery Shopper Scams list has the most prevalent scams affecting mystery shoppers. The more people know about them the less chance the get scammed.
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Thanks for this great article A Mystery Shopper Scams List and all the useful information you shared in it.
I haven’t tried to apply anywhere to work as a Mystery Shopper, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while.
I didn’t realize that there are so many shady offers here, but of course, it makes sense, they appear in all niches and there will probably be more and more of them.
I read your article with great interest, and I will of course check every mystery shopper service provider before I plan to join.
Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you found some value in the article. The mystery shopper area is popular so it will draw the attention of the scammers. As long as you go through the legitimate companies to be sure the job is not a scam, you will be fine.I was surprised to find so many companies that employ mystery shoppers.
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