Mystery Shopping Scam

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Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:13:00
If you want to be a mystery shopper BEWARE! Mystery Shoppers are being targeted by tricksters, who are trying to cash in on this increasingly popular activity.

Internet-based fraudsters are cashing in on would-be mystery shoppers asking them for personal information and bank account details. Potential victim are targeted by offers of lucrative work for very little commitment.

Unsuspecting people, seeking to earn extra money by monitoring customer service standards, risk falling prey to a series of scams by bogus companies.

The fraudsters have angered genuine Mystery Shopping companies, like Retail Active, which is one of Europe's leading Brand Audit and Mystery Shopping agencies. The company gets dozens of calls a week from people all over the world worried that they have been duped - or are about to be.

Retail Active's managing director, Julian Chamberlain says:

"No reputable Mystery Shopping Company would ever ask for money - so that is the first way to establish whether a company is genuine or not.

"We have received reports of people being asked for personal details, which are then sold off to use on marketing lists - or for other uses, such as fraudulently accessing people's bank accounts.

"We are very angry that fraudsters are trying to exploit people who genuinely want to earn some much-needed extra income, as well as help improve customer service.

"We have drawn up a five point guide to help mystery shoppers avoid being conned.

  1. Do not apply to be a mystery shopper through an email, list, club or agency. Always apply directly to mystery shopper agencies.
  2. There are hundreds of thousands of active secret shoppers in the UK, ask a friend if they are a secret shopper. The chances are they are or at least know someone that does. Ask them who the best mystery shopping companies are.
  3. If in doubt phone. All genuine mystery shopping companies such as Retail Active advertise their telephone number and can be contacted directly.
  4. All reputable mystery shopping companies provide online training  as part of the application process. If there is no training then the likelihood is that you are being conned.
  5. Never, ever part with cash in advance. If you do then there is a high probability that you are being defrauded.
If in doubt register with a secret shopping company like Retail Active, at
Retail Active: Customer research evaluation, enabling clients to deliver 'Flawless Execution' of their offer Retail Active: providing the superior mystery shopping service on behalf of premium clientele Retail Active: providing brand and retail audits for premium brands and prestigious businesses