Some companies, retailers, and restaurants hire secret or mystery shoppers to test the customer’s retail experience and report the results.
While this is an excellent way to make money on the side, it could also cost you thousands of dollars if you fall into a scam. So, does Walmart have a secret shopper program? Here’s all you need to know!
Walmart Secret Shopper In 2023
Walmart does not have secret shoppers as of 2023. Walmart doesn’t hire associates to perform services on behalf of the company or other retailers. Therefore, if you receive an email inviting you to become a secret or mystery shopper for Walmart, it is a scam. Walmart has issued warnings to its customers to avoid falling into this trap.
Read on for more information about how the secret shopper scam works and how to identify the signs!
What Is A Secret Shopper?
A secret shopper, also known as a mystery shopper, is an associate hired by retailers to carry out market research.
That said, these shoppers are hired to help the company learn more about customer experiences by testing out the products and services and reporting feedback.
Once hired, the mystery shopper makes a purchase in a particular store or restaurant and provides a report about the experience.
In the process, secret shoppers can pay for the products and then get reimbursed by the retailer. On the other hand, the shopper can keep the product.
As a secret shopper, the pay is not that high; therefore, most people who take up this assignment will do it as a part-time job.
Does Walmart Have A Secret Shopper?
According to the Walmart website, it does not have a secret or mystery shopper hired to evaluate its services.
Although Walmart does not offer these services, scammers take advantage and send fraudulent messages via email or text to customers.
For example, based on some customer experiences, scammers send emails accompanied by a fake check.
How Does The Walmart Secret Shopper Scam Work?
If you receive an email or text with an unsolicited job offer from Walmart to become a secret shopper, this is mostly a scam.
In most cases, once the scammer sends the text, they also send you a check with some funds. That said, this is usually part of the training assignment to make the job appear legitimate.
Further, they’ll ask you to deposit the funds in your account in a few days.
Once you get the money, you’ll be asked to test the in-store money transfer, either via Western Union or MoneyGram.
Since the check is fake, it will bounce, and you’ll have to pay back the bank the entire amount plus penalty fees.
In addition, you might be asked for your personal bank information, which the scammers use to drain your account and identity theft.
What Are The Scam Signs To Look Out For?
Here are the signs to look out for to avoid falling into the Walmart secret shopper scam:
- Multiple emails are listed to undisclosed recipients
- These emails come from fictional departments, and the emails have addresses that look like Walmart, such as Wal-Mart
- There’s an additional email address in the “from” line
- When the sender is using outdated Walmart logos and branding
How Can You Protect Yourself From The Walmart Secret Shopper Scam?
To avoid falling into such scams, you need to know that associates hired by Walmart have to go through the official hiring process, which includes drug testing and paperwork.
Additionally, Walmart does not mail its customers checks to deposit or purchase items at any of its stores. Therefore, you should know it’s a scam once you get this in your inbox.
So, if you get a check in your email to become a mystery shopper, you should not deposit this in your account.
Moreover, you should not open or respond to any unsolicited emails with offers to become a Walmart secret shopper because this service does not exist.
Furthermore, you should not respond to online ads offering free gift cards; this is one of the ways to fall into the scammers’ trap.
How Can You Report The Walmart Secret Shopper Scam?
If you receive an email about mystery shopping with Walmart, you can report these issues before falling victim to scammers.
For example, you can fill out an online complaint form with MoneyGram if you have already wired the money to the scammer.
On the other hand, if you get a suspicious email claiming to be from Walmart, you can email the retailer via OnlineAbuse@walmart.com with the email as an attachment.
Additionally, if you spot a mystery shopper scam, you can report it to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further assistance.
Are There Legitimate Secret Shopper Offers?
Yes, there are legit mystery shopper offers, and they will rarely send you a check before completing the assignment.
For example, you can visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website to check for legitimate companies.
That said, they have a database of available jobs and a list of service providers that offer legitimate secret shopper jobs.
To avoid being scammed, keep in mind that the MPSA does not advertise for the secret shopper jobs; therefore, you should not respond to job notices that claim to be from them.
Walmart does not have secret shoppers and does not hire associates to perform services on behalf of the company or other retailers.
Therefore, if you receive an email inviting you to become a secret or mystery shopper for Walmart, it is a scam.
With that, Walmart has issued warnings to its customers to avoid falling into this trap and provided signs that customers can look out for to protect themselves against scammers.
While there are legitimate secret shopper offers by the MSPA, they are not usually advertised; therefore, you should only check the website for more information.