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Fraud Alerts

RitterAssociates is Better Business Bureau accredited.  We do not participate in or offer available shops/projects to independent mystery shoppers that involve check cashing, or money transfers.  RitterAssociates works with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and all appropriate Local, State and Federal authorities in order to crack down on individuals or organizations that perpetrate this type of fraud.  As with all reputable mystery-shopping companies, RitterAssociates will never ask for payment to become a mystery shopper.

All available shops/projects are distributed to independent mystery shoppers that elect to provide RitterAssociates with their unique profile using our password protected, web based platform.  Profiles that include valid email addresses will receive notification about available shops/projects.  The project specifications/training for available shops/projects offered to independent mystery shoppers by RitterAssociates are only accessible through our web-based platform.

If you have any questions or think you may have been a victim of a scam, please notify us immediately and also notify the MSPA at info@mysteryshop.org.


Update: Check Cashing Scam

Avoid responding to, or accepting solicitations from, these and other scam email addresses similar to recruits.inc@gmail.com, secretshopper@hotmail.com, ritter.recruiting@gmail.com, ritter.recruits@gmail.com, ritter.recruiters@gmail.com, ritter.recruiting@live.com, recruiting.consults@gmail.com, ritterassociates@live.com or ritterassociates.surveys@live.com. Here are recommendations to follow:

  1. Valid email addresses from RitterAssociates will always contain ‘@ritterassociates.com’.
  2. RitterAssociates will never ask you for money to become a shopper.
  3. RitterAssociates does not offer opportunities to shoppers that involve check cashing or purchasing money orders.
  4. Scammers who use our name will never communicate with a shopper by phone.  If in doubt, call us to verify any project/shop before accepting the opportunity.

Click here for an example of a check cashing scam email solicitation.


Update: Protecting Yourself
Source: Federal Trade Commission

Here’s how to avoid a counterfeit check scam:

  • Throw away any offer that asks you to pay for a prize or a gift. If it’s free or a gift, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Free is free.

  • Resist the urge to enter foreign lotteries. It’s illegal to play a foreign lottery through the mail or the telephone, and most foreign lottery solicitations are phony.

  • Know who you’re dealing with, and never wire money to strangers.

  • If you’re selling something, don’t accept a check for more than the selling price, no matter how tempting the offer or how convincing the story. Ask the buyer to write the check for the correct amount. If the buyer refuses to send the correct amount, return the check. Don’t send the merchandise.

  • As a seller, you can suggest an alternative way for the buyer to pay, like an escrow service or online payment service. There may be a charge for an escrow service. If the buyer insists on using a particular escrow or online payment service you’ve never heard of, check it out. Visit its website, and read its terms of agreement and privacy policy. Call the customer service line. If there isn’t one — or if you call and can’t get answers about the service’s reliability — don’t use the service. To learn more about escrow services and online payment systems, visit ftc.gov/onlineshopping.

  • If you accept payment by check, ask for a check drawn on a local bank, or a bank with a local branch. That way, you can make a personal visit to make sure the check is valid. If that’s not possible, call the bank where the check was purchased, and ask if it is valid. Get the bank’s phone number from directory assistance or an Internet site that you know and trust, not from the check or from the person who gave you the check.

  • If the buyer insists that you wire back funds, end the transaction immediately. Legitimate buyers don’t pressure you to send money by wire transfer services. In addition, you have little recourse if there’s a problem with a wire transaction.

  • Resist any pressure to “act now.” If the buyer’s offer is good now, it should be good after the check clears.

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