We Check is a proud member in good standing of the Mystery Shopper Providers Association (MSPA). The MSPA grants membership through an extensive vetting process to ensure that all members are legitimate and qualified firms, conducting market and mystery shopping research. By signing up with a MSPA member mystery shopping company, you can rest assured that you are conducting business with a reputable and legitimate company.
However, there are internet scammers who will pose as legitimate mystery shopping companies to steal your money. Below are some mystery shopping scams you need to be aware of.
WARNING: People are attempting to defraud consumers out of money using We Check’s name. Many of these are coming via LinkedIn messages, and are using different names of people with a “@outlook.com” email address and/or appear to be from people that you know through LinkedIn. We Check does not recruit via LinkedIn, we do not send cheques to consumers asking them to do mystery shops, and ALL legitimate email messages from a We Check employee will have our “@wecheckservice.com” email address extension. If you receive such offers, we suggest you report it to your local police, and shred/destroy all documents you receive; you do not need to contact us.
Cheque Cashing Scams
Cheque cashing scams are the most prevalent. You may receive a mystery shop opportunity that randomly lands in your email inbox. It looks legit. It has a company name on it that you may recognize. But beware! Scam artists copy and paste portions of legitimate companies web sites and then change all the contact information and usually remove any live links to database collection. The best way to double check the validity of an email is to conduct an Internet search for the company name in a newly opened search engine page, like Google or Yahoo, and then compare the Contact Us information with the email. These scammers typically request that you fax your information to them. Sometimes they have a form page and ask for your bank account information. Most legitimate companies collect personal information in real time a secured web environment and never ask for your bank account information. If in doubt, contact the REAL company from your Internet search and ask about the email you received. A little extra time in checking the validity will reduce the risk of losing a lot of money in the long run.
When a scammer operates by pretending to be from We Check, or another mystery shopping company, they seek shopper details by email, fax or telephone. They will offer you hundreds of dollars to cash a cheque but won’t want you to wait for the funds to clear your account. They will ask you to wire the funds right away to someone else, usually giving the recipient a similar name as your own name so that it looks like you are sending money to a relative.
Mystery Shopping Fee Scams
You should not have to pay to be a mystery shopper with a legitimate mystery shopping company. Be very suspicious when a company asks you to pay them to be a member or to participate in their assignment process. Legitimate MSPA member mystery shopping companies will not request payment from you in advance of conducting assessments.
Please check the MSPA website for a list of reputable mystery shopping companies.
You Tube videos on scams
MSPA Scam Alerts
The MSPA circulates news releases to its members when there is a scam alert. You can read these news releases on their website.