Q. Hi, we know you are wondering how I can tell whether or not Mystery Customer (or any mystery shopping company) is a legitimate company?
A. You may have heard there are a number of mystery shopping scams out there. They can come in a variety of formats from phone calls to emails to online classifieds and even newspaper classifieds. However, there are many legitimate mystery shopping companies in Australia. We have written this shortlist of things you can look out for when deciding whether to register your details with any mystery shopping company.
Here are 10 key things to look out for:
1. Australian Business Number (ABN).
Does the company have one? Check to see if the ABN matches their business name. Mystery Customer’s ABN is 37 103 482 211. Our ABN listing can be viewed here: http://www.abr.business.gov.au/(3x5zloqhrauxdt45fqonf2ii)/search.aspx?SearchText=37103482211&StartSearch=True
2. Check the Company on ASIC.
See if the company is listed on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Our ASIC listing can be viewed here: http://www.search.asic.gov.au/cgi-bin/gns030c?acn=103_482_211&juris=9&hdtext=ACN&srchsrc=1
3. Contact the Company.
If you are unsure whether the company is real, you should try and contact the company and talk to them. Our contact phone number is 1300 60 1234. If you are a shopper we prefer you to email enquiries through to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Email Address.
Legitimate companies generally have business email addresses. Be careful of emails that have a free domain name such as @hotmail.com @google.com @yahoo.com @live.com
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 www.mysterycustomer.com.au and www.shopper.mysterycustomer.com.au
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. Mystery Customer can also be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mysterycustomer
7. Paying to Sign Up.
We strongly advise against registering with companies that require you to pay money 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. Mystery Customer’s listing can be found at http://mspa-ap.org/searchmspa/member_display.php?mbrid=759
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. We always advise the remuneration or reimbursement when each job is offered.
10. Check to see if the scam has been reported.
Visit SCAMwatch at http://www.scamwatch.gov.au 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.