Shopper Scams

How to Spot Shopper Scams

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 ( 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 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: (a USA based site but a lot of the information applies to the UK too)
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