You are here

Mystery shopper scam strikes again

Share this page

picture of shopping bagsIt sounds pretty good: you walk into a store like any other customer. Then 20 minutes later, you’re done, ready to write a report that will earn you $50. And then you can do it again.

If Shopper Systems and some companies like it were to be believed, mystery shopping jobs like this were not only widely available, but could generate “insane profit.” All for just $2.95 for training and a week’s trial, then $49.95 a month after that for an up-to-date list of interested retailers — and you’d be free to cancel any time.

But they couldn’t be believed, the FTC says. According to the FTC’s complaint, people who paid to be mystery shoppers found there were few, if any, jobs in their area. And the jobs that did exist paid a lot less than $50. People who tried to cancel found they were still charged $49.95 a month, not knowing they were also enrolled in a second “opportunity” running their own webstore.

The companies and people behind the alleged scam have agreed to settlements with the FTC that ban them from selling business or work-at-home opportunities and require them to surrender assets to the FTC.

Legitimate mystery shopping opportunities are out there, but so are plenty of scams. Don’t pay to be a mystery shopper — information about mystery shopping jobs should be free, and certifications offered are often of little value. Many professionals in the field consider mystery shopping a part-time activity, at best, and opportunities generally are posted online by marketing research or merchandising companies.

Want to learn more about these kinds of scams and get tips on finding legitimate mystery shopping jobs? Read Mystery Shopper Scams at

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money


Multi Value mystery shopper company is a scam. An ad was ran on zip recruiter for a mystery shopper. Received an email from a William Spalding. Next thing I know a fake check came in the mail and the email instructed to go buy some apple cards. FAKE FAKE FAKE.

I received a mystery shopper job thru my college. I attend southern new Hampshire university. Their career department emailed me a mystery shopper job. It sounded good and i thought it couldnt be a scam if they emailed it. I filled out a small application that didnt ask for real personal information. A few days i received in the mail a check for $2475. It said deposit it and when it cleared vo to best buy and buy 4 gift cards for $500 each then text them and they would let me know about the 2nd part of job. A verified agent would pick up the merchandise in the store. My pay would be $300 to $400. I received 2 of these the 2nd was a cashiers check. The 1st stopped texting but the 2nd keeps texting respond immediately its past due and its from david sapin. I googled him and he is legitimate but i know the job isnt. First clue is who would send a person $2500 without knowing anything about you.

Im dealing with a new one. I received a cashier's check for $1840.50 to purchase 3 $500 bestbuy gift cards. They said not to do the job until the funds cleared my bank. The check uses a legitimate routing number etc. I fortunately figured out its a scam, way to good to be true.
They now want me to send the codes for the cards via text. The phone number is from Ottawa Ontario Canada

I recieved the same thing yesterday and am trying to find out if it's TRUE and real

I received an email offering me a shopper job. They said I will get an assignment and a check soon. When I got the check. I noticed there were several inconsistencies. The name and address on the issuer of the check did not match the name and address of the sender and the company that sent me the email for the shopper assignment. I Googled the address from the issuer of the check and it was an elementary school. I didn’t feel comfortable with that. I am certain this is a scam. I am threw the check away and I'm going to block these scammers immediately.

I received a money order for $2,390.73 for mystery shopper
Told me to buy 2 american express gift cards take pic of front and back then email it to them... Since i have not done what they asked they say that they are going to take legal action against me

Friday I got an "official check" from a company to go secret shopping. I had actually applied for a job like this so I thought it may be real but knew that waiting until check cleared was a good idea. Today i got another with USPS checks, $3000, and was prompted to again go buy gift cards and send info. It is very obviously a scam and crime and using the Postal Service should make it na felony I would think. How can I help law enforcement catch these people?


Leave a Comment