Monday, 7 May 2012

How to select a mystery shopping company to work for?

You may be unaware that there are several scams circulating around the mystery shopping industry. Those ads saying that mystery shopping will pay you thousands of dollars every month are all scams. If you are asked to pay money to an overseas country, that is also a scam.

So what steps do you need to take when signing yourself up to the mystery shopping company? Below are 10 things you can do and should be aware of.

1. Australian Business Number (ABN).
Does the company have one? Check to see if the ABN matches their business name. See here

2. Check the Company on ASIC.
See if the company is listed on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. See here  

3. Contact the Company.
If you are unsure whether the company is real, you should try and contact the company and talk to them or drop them an email.

4. Email Address.
Legitimate companies generally have business email addresses. Be careful of emails that have a free domain name such as

5. Company Website.
All mystery shopping companies should have a website. If there is no website or the website looks amateurish, you should be on high alert. Our website is

6. Online Activity.
Check to see when the company’s website was last updated. If the website was last updated years ago, it may not be operating anymore. Find out if they have an active social media network. Mystery Customer's Facebook page is

7. Paying to Sign Up.
We strongly advise against registering with companies that require you to pay money upfront to sign up. There is no guarantee that you will be provided with jobs, so save your money and register elsewhere!

8. MSPA Certified.
Check to see whether the mystery shopping company is a member of any professional association. The Mystery Shopping Providers Association is the professional association for mystery shopping companies around the world. Here's a list of Australian MSPA members:

9. Get Rich Quick Claims.
Be careful of advertisements that claim to pay a lot of money. If the ad sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Mystery Customer always advise the remuneration or reimbursement when each job is offered.

10. Check to see if the scam has been reported.
Visit SCAMwatch at and see if you can find any scams that look similar to what you have seen. You can also find further tips on how to protect yourself from scammers.


  1. Those are some great points! I remember getting scammed by a mystery shopping company once. They charged all of these fees upfront and never ended up giving me any shops. I tried to contact them several times afterwards but they never returned my calls. From then on I decided that I would never do mystery shopping again. It wasn't until years later, that I met someone who mystery shopped for a company named SQM. They could not give the company enough praise and continuously reassured me that it was not a scam. Sure enough, I contacted the company and they were nothing but helpful and honest. A few weeks later I was mystery shopping regularly and they never charged me any fees. If you or your readers want to learn more about what they do you can check them out here!

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