Mystery Shopping Scam Alert!
There are disreputable companies and individuals scamming shoppers. Be assured that these practices have nothing to do with our company. Some charge a fee for information on becoming a shopper. Secret Shopper® does not and has never charged a shopper to affiliate with us. If you have paid someone for information or to sign up, your first step might be to check your statement for whatever account was charged. The correct name of the company is often listed there, and your financial institution may be able to help you put a stop to the charges.
One of the more serious scams involves someone claiming to be with a legitimate company such as Secret Shopper® and sending out large counterfeit cashier's checks or money orders. The shopper is told to cash it and wire the majority of the funds via MoneyGram or Western Union, then keep the rest as their 'pay' for the shop. Don't be fooled by these scams! The FDIC requires banks to make funds available on cashier's checks and money orders within 1-5 days, so the scammers are counting on you receiving the funds and going through with the wire transfer before the check or money order has actually cleared the bank. By the time you find out that the check is not legitimate, you are out the money you sent and will be held accountable for the bounced check by your financial institution.
Unfortunately, these fraudulent companies use various names or web addresses of reputable companies like ours in their ads and emails. Some scammers even use email addresses or websites which spoof those of legitimate companies. Our website address is https://www.secretshopper.com. If you are directed to a website claiming to be Secret Shopper but with a different address, it is NOT our website. We also do not solicit people to sign up with us via email. The only way to apply to shop with us is on our website.
Suggested steps to take if you have been scammed:
- Contact your local police department to file a report
- File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov..
Useful links for more information on mystery shopping and scams:
- You may also wish to visit the Mystery Shopping Provider's Association (MSPA) website at www.mysteryshop.org shoppers for a list of reputable mystery shopping companies.
Secret Shopper® has been in business for more than 20 years. We are a charter member of the Mystery Shopping Provider's Association and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.