Common Scam Tactics, and How to Avoid Them

By Steven Cooley, Customer Impact Editor

One of the most common questions new shoppers ask us is if our company is legitimate.  While mystery shopping is a legitimate business, many scammers out there prey on people looking to make money, and do so while telling their unsuspecting victims that they’re going to be mystery shopping.  Here are some tips to help prevent you from being scammed, and to assist you in identifying legitimate opportunities.

You should be suspicious of a shop offer if any of the following are true:

1.) Email addresses that look legitimate, but are not.

2.) Links that look legitimate, but are not.

3.) Emails that demand action, or sound urgent

4.) Email subjects that don’t make sense

5.) Emails with misspellings and typos

6.) Emails that request personal information

7.) Emails that make wild claims

8.) Job offers that don’t make good business sense

The scam is that the checks are not valid.  Your bank might go ahead and cash them, but the checks will later bounce.  In the end, you’ll have lost whatever money you sent back to the scammer.


If you’re ever uncertain about an email’s legitimacy,

  1. Visit that company’s website directly. Avoid clicking any links in the email.  If the issue is legitimate, you’ll find mention of it on their website or in your account information once you’ve logged in.
  2. Contact someone at that company directly. If you get an email that looks like it’s from a Acme Bank, but you think the email looks fishy, call Acme Bank and ask if the email is legitimate.  Make sure you use the number from their website, and not any number from the fishy email!
  3. Only download email attachments if you know what they are and are certain the email is legitimate.

If you ever receive contact from someone using the Customer Impact name and are unsure if it is legitimate, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call us! We want to help you avoid these scams whenever possible and are here to answer any questions you have.