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How to Avoid Mystery Shopping Scams

How to Avoid Mystery Shopping Scams

It’s important to be aware of mystery shopping scams before you set out on your first assignment as a mystery shopper! Mystery shopping is a legitimate business and helps provide valuable information to leading businesses to help improve their services and experience of their customers. Mystery Shoppers/Business Evaluators are a vital part of the industry and are the main target for scamming agents worldwide.

We have compiled a list of pointers to look out for when you’re accepting a mystery shopping assignment to be aware of illegitimate businesses and scams.

  • Never pay to become a mystery shopper. Mystery shopping companies pay/reimburse the shopper for their services and NEVER charge to become a mystery shopper.
  • If a company asks you to pay upfront to get the opportunity, avoid this company.  Companies asking you to pay, prior to work completion, are likely scammers.
  • If you’re asked to deposit checks into your bank account and send money back to pay for courses, fees, or anything else, this is most likely a scam.
  • Never wire money or buy gift cards for a mystery shopping assignment or any job opportunity.
  • Always do your research before you accept a mystery shopping assignment. Some common pointers to look out for a legitimate mystery shopping company include:
    – The company is an MSPA Americas registered company. (360 Intel is an MSPA Elite Member)
    – Legitimate companies always communicate through their business email and refrain from using personal emails to do business.
  • If a company or a person is asking you to evaluate a money transfer service by transferring money, it is a scam.
  • A company asking their shoppers to pay for certification to become a mystery shopper is most likely a scam.

Please visit our Shopper Zone for more Mystery Shopping resources.