Mystery Shopping Scams

A victim of a mystery shopper scam

Mystery Shopping Programs are legal and used to obtain data regarding the products and services offered by companies and compliance with laws.

The idea of earning extra income by indulging in the enjoyable activity of shopping as a secret or mystery shopper can be enticing. However, it often seems too good to be true when someone suggests the possibility of making a living solely by shopping and dining out.

On the other side, scammers are everywhere and pretend to give chances for secret shopping, but their real objective is to steal your money or personal data. Because of this, it is essential to be able to distinguish between a genuine job and a fake one.

What is Mystery Shopping?

To gain more knowledge of the experiences of their customers, certain shops and restaurants hire people to come in, try out their products or services, and then write a report about their observations. Usually, these mystery shoppers, also known as secret shoppers, pay for the good or service themselves and then receive payment from the vendor. Occasionally, the merchant will further compensate them more for their work.

Many industry professionals see mystery shoppers jobs as occasional or part-time work, not an alternative to a full-time position. But Many doubt whether is secret shopper legit. Here in this blog, we will let you know how to avoid mystery shopper scams and how to get a legit mystery shopper jobs

a mystery shopper avoiding a mystery shopper scam
a mystery shopper avoiding a mystery shopper scam

Mystery Shopping Job Scams to Avoid

If working as a mystery shopper demands you to pay a price upfront, it’s usually a scam. When looking for mystery shopper employment, keep the following in mind to avoid scammers:

  • Paying for work is not required; respectable companies will pay you for your efforts rather than take advantage of you. Even if they say the money is for training, certification, or a job guarantee, don’t take it. Mystery Shopping does not require any payment to get a real job. 
  • Before submitting your application, do some research on any secret shopper jobs. Verify the company’s existence and look for reviews on the internet. To obtain more information, look up the company’s name combined with keywords like “scam” or “complaints.” 
  • Never send money as part of a job involving mystery shopping. You may receive a cheque for goods purchased from a fraudster, who will instruct you to deposit it and then wire money back for “taxes,” “fees,” or other unspecified charges. Scammers often use this tactic. 
  • For legitimate possibilities to work as secret shoppers, search the database maintained by the Mystery Shopper Professionals Association. 
  • Applications for mystery shopping jobs that promise huge rewards should be avoided. These promises are only made by scammers. Scammers are the only ones who claim you can work on this full-time and quit your job. Most mystery shopping jobs are part-time in nature and don’t pay well enough to take the place of full-time employment.
  • Never reply to a job posting claiming it is affiliated with MSPA. A trade association for the customer experience sector is called the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA). MSPA does not employ mystery shoppers or promote their services. However, they provide a list of service provider businesses that may be able to supply mystery shopping assignments.
mystery shopper looking for legit mystery shopper jobs
mystery shopper looking for legit mystery shopper jobs

How to respond if you become a victim 

Report any secret shopper scams you’ve encountered to the following organizations: 

  • The police department in your area
  • The Centre for Internet Crime Complaints 
  • The FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
  • The office of your state attorney general

If you provide personal or financial information to scammers, you must review your accounts immediately. Any suspicious bank account activities, credit card statements, or other financial transactions should be closely monitored.  

If you find any unauthorized access or charges to your account, you must report the scam to the financial institution and take the appropriate steps to protect your money.

Why is HS Brands Asia the Best Option to Become a Mystery Shopper?

With operations in over 140 countries worldwide, HS Brands Asia is the most respected mystery shopping company. We provide comprehensive solutions for your brand, such as goal-setting, program design, and the production of measurable results. We serve a wide range of sectors, such as internet shopping, retail, hospitality, food & beverage, and healthcare. 

is secret shopper legit , a mystery shopper scammer caught
is secret shopper legit , a mystery shopper scammer caught


You should be very careful while applying for a mystery shopping job or any other platform since these scammers can target you. To protect your money and yourself, you should always try to obtain the correct information and guidance. We hope these tips can help you to distinguish between the genuine from the fraudulent. 

Additionally, as we’ve already discussed, while mystery shopping jobs may be a great way to increase your income, but, you should not depend on them entirely. 

If you’re interested in such services, check out the HS Brands Asia Mystery Shopping website, India’s most trustworthy mystery shopping company.

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