• Report: #1131597

Complaint Review: Mystery Shopper Inc

  • Submitted: Tue, March 18, 2014
  • Updated: Tue, March 18, 2014

  • Reported By: anonymus — New York New York
Mystery Shopper Inc
516 Dawson Road Austin, Texas USA


*Consumer Comment: Long running scam - this is what the Federal Trade Commission says about Mystery Shoppers

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On February 17,2014 I received an e-mail from walmartshopping10@gmail.com stating that a check for the amount of $2,572.05 was sent to my home address.  The check was received the same day through USPS.

Instructions were to deposit the check for $2,572.05 immediately retain $250.00, and transmit the remaining $2,320.00 less fees through Western Union to:

 Alberto Guillen, 156 Dawson Road, Austin, TX 78610

 I was to report back to My Guillen with my experience conducting this mystery shopper engagement  Here is what happened:

 I deposited the check for $2,572.05 on 2/18/2014 into my checking account.

The next day I checked my balances and this amount was indeed in my account.

The same day, 2/19/2014 I transmitted $2,144.00 ($2,320.00 - $176 Western Union transfer fee) to Mr. Guillen.

On 2/20 2014 Mr. Guillen’s check for $2,572.05 was returned due to “uncollected funds” AFTER he had received $2,144.00 from Western Union.

I have tried to connect with Mr. Guillen but to no avail.

This is an alert for anyone contemplating doing business with My Guillen or Mystery Shoppers Inc.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/18/2014 01:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Mystery-Shopper-Inc/Austin-Texas-78610/Alberto-Guillen-at-Mystery-Shopper-Inc-TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE-DEPOSIT-CHECK-KEEP-250-P-1131597. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Long running scam - this is what the Federal Trade Commission says about Mystery Shoppers

AUTHOR: FloridaNative - ()

What is Mystery Shopping?

Some retailers hire companies to evaluate the quality of service in their stores; they often use mystery shoppers to get the information. They instruct a mystery shopper to make a particular purchase in a store or restaurant, and then report on the experience. Typically, the shopper is reimbursed and can keep the product or service. Sometimes the shopper receives a small payment, as well.

Many professionals in the field consider mystery shopping a part-time activity, at best. And, they add, opportunities generally are posted online by marketing research or merchandising companies.

Don’t Pay to Be a Mystery Shopper

Dishonest promoters use newspaper ads and emails to create the impression that mystery shopping jobs are a gateway to a high-paying job with reputable companies. They often create websites where you can “register” to become a mystery shopper, but first you have to pay a fee — for information about a certification program, a directory of mystery shopping companies, or a guarantee of a mystery shopping job.

It's unnecessary to pay anyone to get into the mystery shopper business. The certification offered is almost always worthless. A list of companies that hire mystery shoppers is available for free, and legitimate mystery shopper jobs are listed on the internet for free. If you try to get a refund from the promoters, you will be out of luck. Either the business won’t return your phone calls, or if it does, it’s to try another pitch.

Don’t Wire Money

You may have heard about people who are “hired” to be mystery shoppers, and told that their first assignment is to evaluate a money transfer service, like Western Union or MoneyGram. The shopper receives a check with instructions to deposit it in a personal bank account, withdraw the amount in cash, and wire it to a third party. The check is a fake.

By law, banks must make the funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. It may seem that the check has cleared and that the money has posted to the account, but when the check turns out to be a fake, the person who deposited the check and wired the money will be responsible for paying back the bank.

It’s never a good idea to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back.

Tips for Finding Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs 

Becoming a mystery shopper for a legitimate company doesn’t cost anything. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Research mystery shopping. Check libraries, bookstores, or online sites for tips on how to find legitimate companies hiring mystery shoppers, as well as how to do the job effectively.
  • Search the internet for reviews and comments about mystery shopping companies that are accepting applications online. Dig deeper. Shills may be paid to post positive reviews.
  • Remember that legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them – they pay people to work for them.
  • Never wire money as part of a mystery shopping assignment.

You can visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website at mysteryshop.org to search a database of mystery shopper assignments and learn how to apply for them. The MSPA offers certification programs for a fee, but you don't need "certification" to look – or apply – for assignments in its database.

In the meantime, don't do business with mystery shopping promoters who:

  • Advertise for mystery shoppers in a newspaper’s ‘help wanted’ section or by email.
  • Require that you pay for “certification.”
  • Guarantee a job as a mystery shopper.
  • Charge a fee for access to mystery shopping opportunities.
  • Sell directories of companies that hire mystery shoppers.
  • Ask you to deposit a check and wire some or all of the money to someone.

If you think you’ve seen a mystery shopping scam, file a complaint with:

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