The first thing you should know about Mystery Shopping is that scams are not an issue when working with reputable mystery shopping companies. MSI is MSPA-certified, meaning that we have gone through all of the necessary legwork to be labeled as trustworthy and official.
Please be aware there are fraudulent Mystery Shopping Assignments being issued under our company’s name. MSI is a legitimate Mystery Shopping Company and we do not use money orders or check cashing in exchange for shops.
Mystery Shopping Scams
Unfortunately, we are aware of the bad reputation Mystery Shopping often gets for being a scam. Please read the facts to learn more about how to distinguish between real and false Mystery Shopping assignments.
How to Detect Mystery Shopping Scams
- They ask for a shopper fee. You should never be charged a fee to sign up with a Mystery Shopping company. If you are ever asked to pay money to sign up as a shopper, this could be a sign you are being scammed. Legitimate Mystery Shopping companies are free to sign up with.
- They ask you to wire money. This popular scam is known as the “Check-Cashing Mystery Shopper Scam.” It works like this: a fraudulent Mystery Shopping company will send you a fake check. They will ask you to cash the check at your bank and wire the money to them. Eventually, the check will bounce and you will be left paying the bill. To ensure you are protected from scams like these, never wire money to a Mystery Shopping company.
- Over-promising Ads. Email pitches or online ads that seem too good to be true, most likely are. Look for Mystery Shopping companies that offer reasonable compensations for their shops and who are MSPA Certified.
Contact your local police department, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 1-877-FTC-HELP, or the FBI if you suspect a Mystery Shopping Scam.