Mystery Shopper Scam

Mystery Shopper Scam: How It Works

(with video below)

Mystery shopping companies and fake offers. This month, one of the biggest scams around is the Mystery Shopper or the Secret Shopper Scam. Let’s take a look.

The Mystery Shopper job could be an amazing activity, if you consider its great concept. Who wouldn’t like to go have dinner or a few drinks for free, and then even get paid to do that? Nobody. Well, let’s say you want to do that while looking for ways to make extra money in addition to your daily job. One day, you come across a great opportunity online as a mystery shopper. All you have to do is to visit a business location, use its services, write a report – and get paid! How does the scam work?

Watch the video below to see in detail the Mystery Shopper scam exposed:

Mystery Shopper Scam Video

The offers for becoming mystery shoppers come via email and lately through unsolicited text messages. Signing up, your first paid task is to verify the quality of service at a financial institution in your city, for example Western Union. You have to write a report on how fast they are, how is their customer service, etc.

Once you agree, the ’employer’ (the scammer) sends you a check for – let’s say, for $1,150. Considering your job will be worth $200 all together for the time you spent, they will ask you to deposit the full $1,200 check in your acacount and wire back $1,000, so you can keep your fee for the job, $150. Seems easy enough, right?!

Their only stipulation is that you need to perform the Western Union job as soon as you get the check, say within 48 hours.

legitimate mystery shopper companies


You do as you’re told, send off the money and write a report for your employer detailing your mystery shopping experience.

Unfortunately, a few days later you receive your bank statement and realize your balance is $1,000 less than it should be! Little did you know that the $1,150 check your employer sent you… just bounced. They told you to hurry (meaning send back $1,000), knowing that in 5 business days their check will bounce and you’ll realize they were running a scam.

Needless to say, you’re responsible for the money you wired and if you’re in overdraft you’re facing a fee.

Alternatively, scammers might come up with a different email verbiage. They might use similar phrases such as: “We are seeking to identify a pool of skilled evaluators who can do: Reviews and surveys for collection-of-data. Conducting project evaluation; Collecting and analyzing primary data”.

mystery shopper jobs


Mystery Shopper Scam: How To Avoid

There are plenty of legitimate ways to make money in your spare time. Do a bit of research and don’t just click on the first ad you see. Always do your research and work only for legitimate employers.

In the meantime, if you are really looking for a job and seek to make some money until you find the next ideal job, you can choose, which is the world’s largest free online rewards program. You get paid by doing things online which you might do anyway, such as searching the web, take surveys, watch videos, or play games. You can also get free iTunes and Amazon cards. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE. They offer a $5 sign-up bonus.


How To Report a Scammer

Make your family and friends aware of the Mystery Shopper Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here


How To Protect Yourself More

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.

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Yes there are legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies and NO they don’t pay $1000.00 per job OR prior to the job, this is a complete give away. They generally pay about $10. – $20. per job and they do not pay until AFTER you do shop and send in report, say 2 weeks to 6 weeks. There are things you must do prior to working for a Mystery Shopping Company to prove you can do the jobs you need to do. They don’t just send out emails or call people to say "Hey do you want to make a TON of… Read more »


Just got the following e-mail this morning, on my work account. Beware!

Please a mystery shopper needed in your region, you can earn up to $150-200 per week. To learn more, contact Gary Wisley via email at ( with your full name to proceed.

Thank you,
Anna Klingne
Task Coordinator


I received what appeared to be a letter from "Secret Shoppers" requesting me to do survey at Wal-mart. Included in that package was a check from a company which is legit (Econometrica, Inc.); however when I got to the part about depositing the check and then wiring to some unknow individual, I knew it was a scam. I’m just wondering if Econometrica, Inc., knows about them using their business as a cover.


I just got one ‘offer’ to be an Amazon mystery shopper lol. Below is the email I received from HR ( Welcome to Amazon Secret Shopper Project About: You must be wondering what "Amazon Secret Shopper" is… !!! As profiled on Good Morning America, mystery shopping and merchandising provides a flexible way for individuals to earn extra money. Mystery Shopping Survey is an online survey Agent that will pay you when you shop in stores, malls, supermarkets etc. Amazon Secret Shopper LLC are desperately looking for people just like you to be our eyes and ears in well-known stores,Once you… Read more »


I got scammed out of 1495 dollars now im paying for it dont trust BEST MARKET SURVEYS IN CANADA thet "job" address 1 Lexington ave in NY.

C. Figueroa

just had this happen to me now I lost 3,000 dollars and it was sent by consumer lawyer so I thought it was a class action law suit that I won then I began to read the emails boy how stupid I feel! someone tell me why! Don’t trust anything From Nexsen Pruet Pllc !!!


I want Glenda Layton to forward the scammer email address to my mail…


This scam showed up as a Text Msg to my cell # and ignored fact that my # is on the Do-Not-Call Registry. Claims that I can make an extra $300 per week.

Ignore any such messages from Diamond Service and/or 1-647-338-4628.

I’ve reported their name & # to Do-Not-Call & Rogers who have their phone service.


This scam showed up as a Text Msg to my cell # and ignored fact that my # is on the Do-Not-Call Registry. Claims that I can make an extra $300 per week. Ignore any such messages from Diamond Service and/or 1-647-338-4628. I’ve reported their name & # to Do-Not-Call & Rogers who have their phone service. James We have been doing legitimate secret shopper for years, restaurants, banks, car dealers, we got an email to mystery shop for green card visas seem like what had done in the past except they sent me 3 checks to buy green… Read more »


Emmanuel Watch out for this scam company: World Survey Group!! They intend message people on Facebook. Thanks for accepting our offer as a secret shopper, your information’s has been verified with the Canadian Revenue Service and you have been selected as one of our Teller Spy/Customer Service Spy in your region. The Job Description is explained below: FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Secret Customer’s Guide wants you to run a survey on two prominent companies in your area as listed below. CIBC Bank, TD Bank, Scotia Bank, BMO Bank, Royal Bank , PC Financial, Wal-Mart, JC Penney Shops. There have been reports about… Read more »

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