As some of you know - attempts at frauds, scams, cons, impersonating legitimate companies, and otherwise misleading people into giving away their money and/or personal information are sadly not an uncommon thing in the mystery shopping world.
These can vary in content, methods, and pretty much every other factor besides the intention of ultimately profiting on unsuspecting people.
There have been reports recently of a "popular" scam (nearly a dozen reported cases in the last two days) where the individual(s) performing this scam are impersonating Prism Intelligence - a legitimate company operating on the iSecretShop platform (and the one responsible for the existence of that platform and this forum).
In this particular case, the impersonator(s) send out letters, including a check for $2,300, claiming that the project has something to do with WalMart.
If you do receive such a letter - please note that these letters and checks did not come from Prism Intelligence - this is a scam. Please do not give these people any identifying information, and you should absolutely not cash in, deposit, or otherwise negotiate the item in any way.
Prism Intelligence is a legitimate, trustworthy company, and the only mystery shopping opportunities offered by it are offered via the iSecretShop platform - there are no letters and checks involved, nor are any advanced payments requested.
You can find actual mystery shopping opportunities offered by Prism Intelligence on the iSecretShop website - other sources claiming to be Prism Intelligence opportunities should always be verified as it may be a potential scam, such as this one.
Prism Intelligence does not have nothing to do with this - its good name is being used fraudulently by scammers trying to rip off good people.
Similar frauds have happened in the past, and differed mystery shopping providers were targeted/impersonated.
There have also been quite a few reports of shoppers getting emailed from unknown sources, from people using their private emails, or from random mailing services like snail mail, etc.
Here are a few pointers to help you determine of the opportunities you get emailed about are legitimate, and originating from MSPs on iSecretShop:
One of the surest ways to check if you are still in doubt is to ask the person who emailed you to give you the Shop ID number for the shop in question. If they do - you can look it up on the iSecretShop website, and find that it's a legitimate shop. If they refuse to, you should be very careful as it could be a scam.
These are just some of the tell-tell signs of a possible scam, so always be sure to check, and you can even open a support ticket for iSecretShop, to check if the person that sent you an email is registered as a scheduler for any MSP.
I hope this helps keep you out of harm's way from fraudsters, wish you luck on the real shops on iSecretShop, and stay vigilant!
I haven't heard of anything like that - but there are no mystery shopping providers on iSecretShop called "Secret Shopper" - if it the email is from a company that allegedly operates on iSecretShop or is claiming to represent a shopping opportunity on iSecretShop - you can safely assume it's not legitimate.
Yes, I received all the texts that are listed. I received emails from
INTELLISHOP PROGRAM <email@example.com> and I have received a money order in the amount of $998.00 from the post office. I have instructions to keep $148.00 and use the rest to purchase iTunes gift cards that will be used for future assignments (which makes no sense). I took my money order to the post office and asked them to verify the money order because it was purchased from the post office supposedly. They had NO record of the number or purchase in the system. SCAM SCAM SCAM!!
THE EMAIL READ:
Attn: Carita Cordell
The payment for your " WALMART SHOPPING ASSIGNMENT " was delivered to you yesterday by the UNITED STATES PRIORITY MAIL.Kindly make sure you follow instructions and complete the assignment today.
Get back to us with a reply to show that you are in receipt of this message.
HEAD OF RECRUITMENT
This shopper site is a scam. I performed a shop back in May and HAVE NEVER GOTTEN PAID! I have been in contact with Maeghan Wrobel back and forth via email for months, and she has assured me that payment is coming. I am taking to Facebook to warn everyone that your site is a fraud, and I am also contacting Bowlero to let them know just what crooks they are dealing with. I have been shopping for nine years, and have worked for more than 30 companies in that time. I have not mystery shopped for some of them in years, and yet they are still seeking me out to perform shops for them, due to the excellent quality of my work. I'm thinking of turning you in to the BBB.
I have done several shops for 360Intel and haven't had a problem with payment. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all of the payments due me because I have so many different companies that I contract with and my accounting practices are not the best.
Check with PayPal to make sure your email address is the same as what you registered in your profile with the company. Also keep track of all correspondence and documentation of work performed. They have to provide you with proof of payment which you can use for proof that you weren't compensated.
Remember everyone has a boss, ask to speak to the next link in the chain of command.
This site is not a scam. I have been paid thousands of dollars shopping with these companies. According to their ICA, you should have been paid 45 days after the shop was expected - so maybe 50 days after completing the shop. So, if you did the shop May 30, you should have been paid by July 20. So, yes, payment would be late.
I would suggest two steps.
Regarding the above listed scams.....
Yes, it very much sounds like the specific offers listed above are scams. It is very common for scammers to use the names of legitimate companies to try to sound more legitimate.
FYI: Both Intellishop and SecretShopper are legitimate companies - I have done work for both of them. However, NEITHER will every send you money for work not yet completed.
Everyone above is correct. iSS is a legitimate and trustworthy website for shoppers. iSS and the MSPs are not scammers. 360intel and all of the MSPs on iSS, along with iSS itself, have an outstanding and long history of successful and fruitful secret shopping experiences. Yes, there are scams out there, but not here. Shops and Shoppers are taken very seriously on this platform.
Take MFJohnston suggestion, followup on the ICA attachment and get in touch with Ivan on this forum, as another resource. He handles many issues similar to this and he can be very helpful. Both him and MF were helpful to me when I needed it. I am a happy iSS shopper.and will continue to be. Hope this some helpful information and shopping support. Thanks for reading.