You can now report internet scams/attempted scams online with Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
How to spot a scam
All emails from us come from addresses ending in @mystery-shoppers.co.uk - if someone contacts you from a different address, it isn't us.
Genuine companies will use a company email address. 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 didn't register on our database, we won't email you.
We do not pay our shoppers through Western Union, and we never ask them to transfer money with Western Union.
If you are asked to bank a cheque, 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 you are contacted and offered a large payment in advance, this is likely to be a scam.
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 apply for non mystery shopping work on a job site, and are then told that the vacancy is filled but there is mystery shopping work available as an alternative, this is likely to be a scam.
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 list on this page (see below).
Here are a couple of links which give a bit more info rmation on scams
Current scams which we have been made aware of:
New - a scam website ( http://marketing-shoppers.com ) has been set up by an organisation calling themselves Retail Shoppers Ltd
http://marketing-shoppers.com - This website is made up of content stolen from our website, including information about our Managing Director, Paul Grafton. Please note that we are in no way associated with this company. and have not given them permission to use any of the content from our website. If you are contacted by anyone from this organisation, please beware that it is likely to be a scam. The scam site includes a link to the sign-up form - you should NOT register to become a mystery shopper with this site. They refer to themselves as Retail Shopper, Retails Shoppers, Retail Shoppers Ltd and Marketing Shoppers.
Shoppers being offered 'Tr ial assign ments' involving signing up to an online service
http://retailauditing.com This comp any is offer ing people 'Trial Assignments', which involve signing up to a free trial of a service online such as Netflix or Love Film, or
fre e credit reports. You are asked to mystery shop the service as a test of your mystery shopping abilit ies, and told that if your assignment is used you will be paid a generous fee. In order to sign up to a free trial for services such a s LoveFilm, you normally have to provide your bank o r credit card details even though they don't charge you. The company will send you a sign-up link to use, and they are skimming your payment d etails via this link and will then take money f rom your account. Be war ned these scammers are very clever, they even have warnings about mystery shopping scams in the ir emails!
Text messages from 'TheMysteryShoppers.org'
People are being sent text messages from TheMysteryShoppers, inviting people to email them (at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and various variations of this email address) about mystery shopping assignments. If you receive a text message from a company you have not registered with, ignore it - reputable companies do not recruit new shoppers by sending text messages to members of the public.
Scammers using 'Gumtree' and 'Career Builder' to recruit mystery shoppers
Mystery Shoppers Ltd has been tipped off that scammers are using the reputable sites 'Gumtree' and 'Career Builder' to lure members of the public into signing up with them under the pretence of cashing fraudulent cheques for Mystery Shopping services. Not all advertisements for Mystery Shopping assignments on job sites are scams, but please read our advice at the top of this page on spotting scams.
Watch for 'UK Mystery Shopper Employment Agency'
We have been hearing a great deal about a company called the UK Mystery Shopper Employment Agency. We suspect them to be a scam as they charge a registration fee which then gives you access to a list of mystery shopping companies. These are mostly American and Canandian companies, as well as a few UK ones. This information can be obtained from Google at no cost at all. They don't have any contact information on the website, your only form of contact with them is by email but even then you are just sent automated responses back. Reputable mystery shopping companies do not charge a fee to register.
Advance fee scams
Please be aware that there is currently a scam in the UK, US and Canada which works like this: t hey ask you to carry out one or more assignments and say they will fund you in advance. BUT the funding they use is a money order or cheque for more than the cost of carrying out the assignments. They ask you to send them the surplus money after deducting your shopper fee. After doing so, your bank will find that the money order/cheque was fraudulent and you will be left out of pocket. This type of scam is known as the ‘Advance Fee’ fraud.