Avoid being a victim of common Mystery Shopping Scams

Mystery Shopping is a long-standing form of customer experience research. While the industry is comprised of many legitimate companies providing these services, consumers interested in mystery shopping jobs are advised to be cautious of practices widely recognized as consumer scams.

Tips for Avoiding Mystery Shopping Scams

  • Do not deposit unexpected paper checks into your personal account and then wire funds or purchase and mail gift cards, as this is almost certainly a mystery shopping scam.
  • You should never pay to become a Mystery Shopper
  • Do not accept assignments involving evaluating money-transfer services
  • Be cautious of any jobs with outlandish rewards or cash payments.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not trust unsolicited emails if you did not already directly sign up with a legitimate company.
  • Avoid all  ‘companies’ that claim to pay in advance of shop completions.
  • Take the time to research and conduct due diligence on any company you might wish to work with and always contact them directly through a Google search or the MSPA industry trade association. Scammers will often spoof popular mystery shopping company names.
  • Always avoid and ignore unsolicited emails and text messages, especially if they are coming from Gmail, Yahoo, etc. rather than a real company email account.

Second To None’s Mystery Shopping Practices

  • Second To None never sends paper checks to be used in conducting a mystery shopping assignment.
  • Second To None never offers mystery shopping jobs that require making a wire transfer, check deposit or purchase and forwarding of gift cards.
  • Second To None email messages only come from name@second-to-none.com or name@secondtonone.com.
    We do not email shoppers from Yahoo, Gmail, etc.
  • Second To None only accepts shopper applications at our official sites: second-to-none.com or joinstn.com. We never assign jobs to shoppers who have not applied through our website.
  • Second To None only offers shopping assignments through the secure ShopperHub website portal
  • Second To None does not make shopper payments in advance of work being completed.
  • Second To None only pays our shoppers by PayPal or direct deposit; never a mailed check.
  • For additional information on legitimate mystery shopping companies, visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) at www.mysteryshop.org

Are You The Victim of a Check/Wire Transfer Scam? Do This:

  • File a Police Report
    • Mail-based check cashing/fund wiring scams that cross state lines may be considered a federal offense. If you are a victim of this, you should contact your local police or sheriff’s department where you live, to file a formal report.
  • File a Mail Fraud Complaint with U.S. Postal Inspection Service
    • If you received a scam check, letter, instructions, etc. through the U.S. Postal Service, this may be considered federal mail fraud. You should file a complaint through the Postal Inspection Service online form here.
  • File a Complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • If you are the victim of a check-cashing scam and have lost money through it, file a complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Service here.
  • File Online Report with National Consumers League
    • If you are the victim of scam, you should file a complaint with the National Consumers League here.
  • Report Check Scams to the Federal Trade Commission
    • The Federal Trade Commission encourages all scam victims to file a report through their website here.

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