The URL cited in my original comment (copied below) has changed. The ‘Beware Scammers’ warning of 20-September-2010 is now located at
See also http://www.bbb.org/search/?filter=WebPage&term=mystery%20shoppers
—— Original post dated 18-April-2011 ——
'Scammers Spoofing MSPA Emails!'
See the warnings at
Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA North America) is listed on the Federal Trade Commission website as a reliable reference for Mystery Shopping programs. This is a safe-legitimate website.
If you received an email it did not come from MSPA. There are scammers spoofing the mysteryshop.org website in an attempt to steal from the unsuspecting. See here: http://www.mysteryshop.org/avoid-scammers
Okay this site I checked out because my fiancé's sister wanted me to investigate as I teach her about scams. Anyway this one does look valid. It doesn't smell of a scam. Before I had an experience like Randy but you have to be able to tell the difference between scam and not scam.
Remember that not all jobs that say they are for mystery shopping are real. Some say that and then your first job is to "investigate the mail system" by sending money over seas. This does not look like one of them.
BE AWARE - BE SAFE.
This site mysteryshop.org does look VALID.
Please read this on fake checks and emails claiming to be from them and really not (yes email address CAN be spoofed so ALWAYS be aware):
If you do not feel safe visiting that link, here is a copy paste of the content on that page:
If someone claiming to represent the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) sends you a check and asks you to cash it, wire most of it to someone else, and report on your experience with the wire service....don't do it! It's a scam! Someone is doing that very thing and, in some cases, is providing a toll-free number for their scam targets to call...and they answer the phone as if it were really MSPA. It is not.
Fake check scammers have been around for many years, adopting identities that suit them, trying to appear legitimate. They may represent themselves as officials from a lottery, telling you to cash a check they send you and wire a portion back to them because the check mistakenly was for more than you supposedly won. They may respond to your ad to sell your car by sending you a check for more than your asking price, then contact you to ask you to wire the difference back to them so they can fly out to pick up the car. Fake check scammers have a thousand stories. Don't fall for them. Especially don't fall for a claim that MSPA wants you to cash a check and do some mystery shopping! We will NEVER send you a check and ask you to wire a portion back to us. Anyone who claims to be MSPA and asks you to do that is a fraud.
If you receive a check, regardless of who it is from, asking you to cash it and wire a portion to someone else, DON'T! Instead, immediately contact the organizations listed below.
Call police (they may not be able to do anything, but filing a police report can help if discover later if the scammers are caught)
File report with your state’s Attorney General
File and report with www.phonebusters.com.
File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP or at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
If the package with the check came by U.S. mail, contact your local post office and ask for the Postal Inspector (be sure to take a copy of the stamped envelope and its contents).
A useful resource about avoiding mystery shopping scams and finding legitimate mystery shopping opportunities may be found on the Federal Trade Commission's website at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt151.shtm
THIS IS A SCAM if you receive a letter in the mail that says mystery shopper rip it up to shreds and throw it in the garbage they ask you to mail in a $3900 western union money order and then they will mail you a check A FAKE CHECK if you have any brains up there you would know the bank would want there money back so that means you lost $3900 + $4000 check you have to pay back to the bank i,m smart i will never fall for nonsense scams ever ever ever!!!!!!! surf the web the safe way with wot
If anyone has been a secret shopper they would most definite pick this site for information. There is a lot of secret shopping companies out there, that charge YOU to secret shop for them which is a no-no. They list all companies that have a very good record and are rated high in the secret shop business.