If you received an email from a company named Mystery Shopping Service or any email soliciting you to become a mystery shopper, it more than likely didn't come from us.
There are several individuals out there who are using our company address as well as other mystery shopping companies information to try and scam you out of your money.
Check-Cashing Scam Emails are NOT coming from our Company
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MYSTERY SHOPPING PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION WARNS CONSUMERS: BEWARE OF CHECK-CASHING SCAMS
Consumers Around Country Caught By Fake Money Order Scams
DALLAS – The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources, wants to make sure consumers are aware of check-cashing scams popping up across the country this holiday season.
A check-cashing scam offers consumers the opportunity to make “easy money” by cashing a large sum cashier’s check and evaluating the service they receive when they wire the money to another location, typically outside the country. The “reward” offered to consumers is a percentage of the original cashier’s check as payment. In these scams, the check bounces several days later and the consumer is held liable for the entire amount of money wired to the international address – typically between $1,000 and $5,000.
“The biggest challenge for consumers with the check-cashing scam is the fact that scammers frequently use the names of legitimate mystery shopping companies in the letter they send to potential victims, and the cashier’s check contains the name of a real bank and looks real,” said MSPA Executive Director John Swinburn. “The bottom line for consumers is this – if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Consumers who receive a similar offer are urged to contact authorities, including the local police, the FBI, and the Federal Trade Commission. If the offer is received via mail, consumers should also contact the U.S. Postal Service.
Consumers should also be cautious of e-mails offering free food, shopping trips, dinners and other elaborate gifts for a small, one-time fee. These offers typically provide information on how to become a mystery shopper, rather than actual mystery shopping jobs. The good news for potential shoppers: information on how to become a mystery shopper is available for free on the MSPA Web site, www.mysteryshop.org.
Mystery shopping is a valuable tool used by some of the largest retailers, restaurants, and banks to understand and enhance the experience they provide their customers. However, it is not a quick and easy way to make a large sum of money and receive numerous freebies. The MSPA has developed the following tips for those interested in becoming a mystery shopper:
· Prospective shoppers do not have to pay a fee to become a mystery shopper. Shoppers should be extremely wary of any mystery shopping offer that requests a fee.
· Visit the MSPA Web site (www.mysteryshop.org/shoppers) for a list of reputable mystery shopping companies and opportunities. Contact the companies directly, not the MSPA, for more information on how to become a shopper.
· Be patient. It takes time, sometimes months or even longer, to be contacted with an offer to conduct a shopping assignment.
· Be cautious of opportunities that offer large sums of money for simple tasks like cashing a check or wiring money. A typical mystery shopping evaluation will earn about $10 to $20. If an assignment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
About the MSPA
With more than 200 member companies worldwide, the MSPA has a diverse membership, including marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Its goals are to establish professional standards and ethics for the industry, educate providers, clients and shoppers to improve quality of service, improve the image of the industry and promote the membership to other industry associations and prospective clients.
SCAM EMAIL LETTERS ARE NOT COMING FROM OUR COMPANY
The following is an actual scam email letter that is now in circulation.
Mystery shopper pros is the global leader in Customer Experience Management. Our proven experience and systems use information from a variety of sources, including mystery shop visits and store audits to quantify the gap between your brand promise and the reality of exactly what your customers have experienced.
Mystery shopper pros currently operates more than 120 programmes globally and is the worldʼs clear leader in the customer experience category. With a force of more than 200,000 mystery shoppers worldwide, each member of the team is trained before embarking on secret shops, ensuring you only get qualified and relevant shoppers to your industry and neighbourhood.
Choose your own working hours
Eat out for free
Get paid to shop for some of your favourite brands
Become a member of a global mystery shopping network and have the opportunity to 'Shop the World!'
Help improve customer service in your local area.
Examples of details you would forward to us are after your shopping experience are:
1) How long it took you to get services.
2) Smartness of the attendant
3) Customer service professionalism
4) Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant to see how they react to clients when they get tensed (under pressure).
We turn the information (you gave us) over to the company executives and they would carry out their own duties in improving their services.
Most companies employ our assistance when people give complaints about their services or when they feel there are needs for them to improve their customer service. Your Identity would be kept confidential as the job states (secret shopper). You would be paid $100 for every survey you carry out ,bonus on your transportation allowance and funds would be given to you if you have to dine as part of the duty.
Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of shops, stores, restaurant and services in your area. No commitment is made on this job and you would have flexible hours as it suits you. If you are interested do send in your:
(I)Your Full Name:
(II)Your Residence address:
(III)Present work address:
(IV)Home and mobile Phone numbers:
(VI)Your Age and Current Occupation:
So we can look at your distance from the locations which you have to put your service into, and your address would also be needed for your payments.
Mystery Shopping Services
95 Crease Rd.
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
(Spelling errors were left in intentionally as this is exactly how it showed up)
*** This scam letter has been known to be sent from: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com as well as many other email addresses. The bottom line is if it sounds to good to be true, it is more than likely a SCAM.
* THERE IS NO NEED TO CALL US AS WE ALREADY ARE AWARE OF THE SITUATION *