Typical Mystery Shopping Scam

Mystery shopping scams are everywhere!  People receive this type of email or ‘job’ lead fairly often. While mystery shopping gigs exist, I’m not sure many can be considered jobs. I’ve done it a few times over the years, but only for stores and restaurants I’m interested in or have made updates in offers or services.

If you receive a message or find a lead like this one, don’t bother.  The reality of what my gigs were like are in italics.  The email content is as received, typos and all.


From: MYSTERY SHOPPER (service@ymail.com)
Subject: Mystery Secret Shopper


We are accepting applications from qualified individuals from all-over the world to become Secret-Shopper. There is no charge to become a shopper and you do not need previous experience.

This much is true.

After you sign up, you will have access to training materials from us. Should you interested, your wages would be US $200 per assignment. No commitment is made on this job and you would have flexible hours. At least 2 evaluations a week will be assigned to you because this is a part time job and we think this job suits you. We will provide you the money for all of your evaluations.

That’s just not going to happen.  Legitimate mystery shopping gigs have a set rate and may or may not cover the cost of your products or services.  $200 is just a number that grabs attention.

Money order/Payment check would be in a certain amount which you would be required to Cash at your Bank, then deduct your salary and have the rest used for the evaluation at the store that would be given to you for evaluations.

Here’s how you know without a doubt that this is a scam. They send you a check to cash at your bank. That gives them your account information. They may try to get you to give up your bank info for a direct deposit before you even shop.  In legitimate mystery shopping gigs, you receive reimbursement for your purchase after the fact.

Provide the following information if you interested and we will get back shortly with an your assignment.

Name (First,Last):
City,State,Zip Code:
Phone Number:

We are waiting your good response, Thank you.

(Candidate from USA & Europe are allowed to apply for this offer)

James Morgan
Head of Recruitment
SS-Network @2013


Oy.  It’s frustrating to hear of people falling for this, but I can totally understand how.  They use just enough truth to make the gig seem legit.

Notice I refer to mystery shopping gigs and not jobs?  These shops do not come around daily, even if you register with more than one company.  They’re great for a free meal out, book, movie, or other item, but will not lead to a salaried position or even pay bills beyond the cost of the particular shop.

If you want to give mystery shopping a shot, check out National Shopping Service.  I can vouch for them.

Have you performed a shop?  What did you think?




4 thoughts on “Typical Mystery Shopping Scam

  1. Yep! Where I had moved from there really was a mystery shopping business. People did work for them.
    I have seen what you are talking about. They want me to send them money. I don’t think so.
    Thanks for the heads up on this.

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