Unfortunately, many scammers make contact with people via email, text, direct message, phone calls or letters and use fake mystery shopping assignments as a way to try to extract money out of people.
Here is some advice on how to spot a scam:
- Genuine companies will use a company email address like we do (@mystery-shoppers.co.uk). If someone contacts you from an account with Hotmail or Gmail etc. they are unlikely to be a genuine company.
- We only send emails to shoppers who have registered with us.
- If you are asked to bank a cheque as part of a mystery shop, it’s likely to be a scam.
- No genuine mystery shopping company would trust someone they don’t know with a large sum of money as an advance.
- If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably will be – mystery shopping does not normally pay large amounts, so if you are offered £100 to conduct a basic enquiry it is very unlikely to be a genuine assignment.
- If you receive an email which includes links, hover over them before clicking just to check that you recognise them as genuine websites. Even a hyphen where a dot would usually be can be an indication of a scam:
- Each smartphone works differently so be sure to check beforehand, but you can usually see the full link by holding down the link. A pop up will appear showing you the full link and asking what you’d like to do with it.
- Look at the From address that’s shown and then the real From address which is usually shown between these: < >
- Vague or incorrect ‘To’ details, for example just ‘Hi’ instead of your name.
- If you receive an email which indicates that you owe money which you must pay immediately with an invoice attached, it is likely to be a scam.
- Beware of friend requests and private messages which appear to be asking if you’d be available for a mystery shopping assignment, but they are also trying to collect your personal details.
What to do if you’ve clicked on a scam
|If you’ve clicked on a link or opened an attachment that you think might be part of a scam, here is some advice from Norton.|
You can report internet scams/attempted scams online with Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.
If you receive a mystery shopping scam email, forward it to us at Shopper.Support@mystery-shoppers.co.uk and we can add the sender to our known scams list.
Here are a couple of links which give a bit more information on scams:
http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com/category/mystery-shopper-scam (a USA based site but a lot of the information applies to the UK too)