REPORT A SCAM
Scams are common in our industry and new scams are developed every day. Scammers are operating by pretending to be MSPA Americas or our member companies, and seeking independent contractor details by email or telephone. Though we cannot stop every scam and the people behind them, we can alert the appropriate parties and minimize exposure when possible.
Using this guide is a great way to start fighting back! Scam Response Guide
We will share scams with the membership as they are known to us. If you have one to share, please email email@example.com and we will share them here.
- Someone posing as a Karen Lane from Market Cube Survey, LLC (firstname.lastname@example.org) is sending check scam emails.
- Another check scammer is posing as Mystery Shoppers, Inc., emailing from email@example.com and perhaps texting from 931-896-8849.
- People are sending out emails in the name of MSPA asking for shoppers to work for them. MSPA does not solicit shoppers so this is a scam. Please delete and do not reply to any messages from Bill Belgard or like names.
- From Circle of Service: It seems that there is a group out there that has attached themselves to our logo and information. They are falsely sending mystery shopping opportunities to large groups of people on LinkedIn. This group is sending checks for large amounts to shoppers. We have been contacted by many shoppers throughout the country who are concerned. Many have turned the information over to their local authorities.
- A scammer posing as a Mintel Co-ordinator named Brian Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org is sending out letters to text 904-299-2607 or 206-691-8131 about an assignment and sign up at https://www.quirks.com/jobs. Though Mintel is a legitimate company and current member, this scammer is dishonestly portraying themselves as an employee--they are not.
- Western Union Scams (posted December 2016) and Scam Warning Signs (from the Western Union website)
- Shared by Insight, and recently received from a shopper: I am Michael Richardson Recruitment Specialist with Sights On Service Inc.“We have a mystery shopping assignment in your area and we would like you to participate." Secret Shopper® has been in business since 1990. We are a charter member of the Mystery Shopping Provider's Association (MSPA), the professional tradeassociation for the Mystery Shopping industry. This is a scam!
- From a shopper: I recently signed up to be a member/partner with Beta Research Company, but something doesn't seem right to me. They mailed me a check in the mail for over $2,700 and want me to deposit it into my account and keep $250 for myself. They sent me a one-page evaluation sheet in the mail to evaluate the bank, but just doesn't seem right to me. They've sent me multiple emails and text messages reminding me to follow up with them. I began ignoring them.
- ABO Skin Serum, producer of Calypso, has been removing funds from people's accounts without sending them a product.
- Packages have been received by numerous shoppers from Mystery Guests Co. including an assignment and a check for more than $3,000.
- Six Star Solutions shared there are some men (Louis, Aaron, Mark, etc.) sending out emails promising $3,000 a month salary on top of $350 for each shop completed. It all started with LinkedIn. The company's suggestions it to report it to the FTC.
- From a shopper: I received a check drawn on Citibank but no instructions. It looked legitimate. I had emailed info for a mystery shopper job. I called Citibank verification number 866-678-0088. The check is a fraud. The routing number is 031100209. Account number 38762924. The return address is from Francis Paul Landover MD. Then I received a text 2 days later asking if I received the check. And then an email instructing me to deposit into my account and keep $250. And to send $1030 to two others. IT IS a SCAM!
- Members are reporting an influx of messages from Western Union Malaysia saying the recipient is approved to receive $1.5 million dollars. The reply email is email@example.com.
- Bestmark shared that someone has been masking their email as firstname.lastname@example.org to conduct their phishing and/or scamming. Reply emails go to Eric Jennings at email@example.com and the scammer is offering $500 per shop, after asking for personal details.
- DSG Shared this on Facebook: "It has come to our attention that there is a scam continuing to go on using our name, DSG Associates. If you receive an email, letter, and/or package from “DSG ASSOCIATES INC” asking you to cash a check and purchase Walmart gift cards, please ignore it. These are NOT from DSG Associates. Please do not cash, deposit, or use the check to make any type of purchase. If you have not yet performed an assignment for us and receive a check or you receive a check in an amount different from the pay of your shop, please contact us ASAP.
- A Shopper shared this on Facebook after receiving a bogus email: Gap Burster Inc is currently hiring for "Part Time Mystery Shoppers." Pay is $200/ weekly. If you are still interested, Kindly e-mail the following to: firstname.lastname@example.org.