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Mystery Shopper Scam?
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# 1
Old 15-07-2009, 10:14 AM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 332
Exclamation Mystery Shopper Scam?

HI All,

I have registered with a company apparently offering Mystery Shopping positions. I received this email this morning and to be honest it looks pretty suspicious. I wondered whether anyone had any additional info or whether they had been duped by this?
Shopper's Guide wants you to run surveys on a few prominent western union locations in your area(the locations are within 10 miles
from your zip code, you will be filled with the exact details).
The Western Union location was reported for evaluation for the following reasons:
1) Customers have reported their money missing.
2) Slow services.
3) Unbalanced transfer charges.
4) Rudeness to customers.
5) Late opening time and Closing before time.
Your Evaluation at the first western union location would be:
1) To make a transfer of funds from this western union location to another mystery shopper (we will provide you with the needed
funds; you will never use your own money).
2) You will have to record the time you spend sending the transfer.
3) You will also provide the name of the cashier that attended to you.
4) Make a detailed report about your personal impressions as an average customer.
To complete the surveys we will send you the money to cover your $100 commission and the money you need to use at the western
union location.
Upon receiving the funds, the exact instructions of the survey will be forwarded to you and the report is to be ready same day you receive the funds.
You will have to keep a comprehensive report on every activity you carry out and send it by fax to our office.
If you are interested in becoming a mystery shopper confirm that you are ready by replying to this message with "I AGREE".

Thank you,
Michael McDowell
WA Surveys Inc
Initial email was from but a follow up email was from a gmail account. So beware....


Last edited by AndyD_OHD; 15-07-2009 at 10:19 AM.
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# 2
Old 15-07-2009, 11:37 AM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 10,856

OK I don't believe that any company would be allowing a MS agency to say customer's money is going missing or their staff are rude-and the gmail account speaks volumes. I suggest you forward it to Western Union fraud department for investigation.
I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole
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# 3
Old 15-07-2009, 11:49 AM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bath
Posts: 280

I agree with Duchy.

3 reasons:

They have told you problems with the location. MS'ing is supopsed to be objective and un-prejudiced.

They are saying that you need to do this job in order to become a mystery shopper. ("If you are interested in becoming a mystery shopper confirm that you are ready by replying to this message with "I AGREE".")

The second email came from a gmail account which in itself would be odd, but coupled with the fact that it is different from the initial email address is even more odd.

I'd steer clear!
Slowly working towards earning enough money (through various ventures) to live unworriedly, treat my family and sleep under a lovely roof. x
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# 4
Old 15-07-2009, 11:58 AM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,990
Default Mystery Shopper scam?

Do you live in the US? If not, why are you being approached? Apparently mystery shopping offers via email are not to be trusted.

If you Google WA Surveys you will find some useful information.
Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

Rudyard Kipling

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# 5
laughing cow
Old 15-07-2009, 12:04 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 574

I did a few Western Union jobs for another well known MS company a few years ago. The fee was nowhere near $100 so I'd be surprised if this company are genuinely offering so much more. Also, this survey and the tone sounds peculiar.

There are quite a few scams involving Western Union - money transfer agencies such as them always seem to be involved when people buy laptops from China etc :rolleyes: I'd forward it to WU and advise anyone to be careful of doing anything with a money transfer agency unless they know and trust the MS company involved.
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# 6
Old 15-07-2009, 12:07 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,990
Default Mystery Shopper scam?

You are absolutely right everyone! Googling "Mystery shopper scams" found this:

"There are several popular scams that potential mystery shoppers should be aware of. The most popular is a scam involving a money transfer via companies such as Western Union. The scam works like this: a company claims to be a mystery shopping provider looking for new shoppers. After you express interest they mail you a packet which has information on mystery shopping, training materials and other resources for shoppers. Among these materials is a check that you are instructed to cash into your bank account. After cashing the check you are then instructed to send via wire transfer, a portion of that check, to another account in Canada. The company claims that in order to be considered you must complete this transaction within 48 hours of receiving the packet. The scam lies in the fact that the check is fake. Upon wiring money you end up transferring funds that never make it into your account, essentially giving away your own money to an un-known person. You also end up being liable for the fraudulent check."
Who having known the diamond will concern himself with glass?

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# 7
Old 15-07-2009, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Right here, Right now!
Posts: 60
Default was only created on 11/7/09
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# 8
Old 15-07-2009, 5:07 PM
MoneySaving Convert
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 19

If you've ever had a read of some of the stuff on you'll know that the scammers always like you to send money via western union, as soon as the name pops up i'd have thought it would smell of scam.
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# 9
Old 16-07-2009, 2:12 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 292

Hi, I currently mystery shop for GFK and they have a warning about scams running using Western Union on their homepage. Avoid like the plague!!
But GFK are great - try them maybe? (I am new so can't post links - google them)
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# 10
Old 28-04-2011, 1:30 AM
MoneySaving Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Default GFK Mystery Shopping


I have just registered with GFK Mystery shopping. Is anyone else registered with them and are they genuine as they ask for your bank details on-line.

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