Avoiding ‘Secret Shopper’ Scams

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Some retailers hire people to anonymously evaluate the quality of service in their stores. They assign a mystery shopper to make purchases and then report on the experience. Typically, the shopper is reimbursed, and can keep the product or service. However, there are scammers who offer bogus mystery shopper jobs to prey on people seeking employment. Follow the tips below to avoid these scams:

  • Ignore unsolicited letters or e-mails claiming to be from a legitimate company
  • Note that legitimate secret shopper companies do not guarantee you a job
  • Remember there is no legitimate reason for a company which hires you to be a mystery shopper to ask you to wire money back to them or to a third party
  • Do not rely on the fact that a check sent to you by a company will be accepted for deposit
  • Keep in mind that too often the victim sends money back to the company before finding out that the company's check is bogus
  • Research all offers. Be cautious.

Last Modified: July 06, 2010