Secret Shopper Scams: ShadowShopper,

Scam Shopping Deals: Offers You Should Refuse?

ShadowShopper, website, is yet another secret shopper / mystery shopper website. But from complaints we have received and seen posted with the BBB, caution may be advisable in considering signing up with ShadowShopper!

The Better Business Bureau reports that they also operate using these names:

  • Myshadowshopper 
  • Shadow Shopper LLC 
  • Shadow Shoppers

Complainants say ShadowShopper sends you an email that implies that they want to pay you or otherwise compensate you to be a secret shopper, also called a mystery shopper.  But reports at the BBB from customers say "Consumers have also stated that it is very difficult to make contact with the company, therefore it is difficult to request refunds, cancel automatic billing or cancel the entire service. In some cases consumers continue to be charged for services that they no longer wish to receive."

See this page for more information about how to avoid Mystery Shopper scams and find reputable offers.

Here is an example of the email ShadowShopper sends:

Subject: OK, you win...we are DESPERATE for secret shoppers!

You are receiving this email because you requested information about mystery shopping from one of our partners. If you're no longer interested CLICK HERE ONCE and click submit and we'll stop mailing you immediately!

OK, you win ... we are DESPERATE for secret shoppers!

Dear Cheryl,

Do we sound desperate? If so, it is because we ARE desperate! We urgently need secret shoppers, demonstrators and interviewers in the 92543 zip code area. And that means you!

We are now sending out over a million secret shopping job notifications A DAY nationwide. As you can imagine, with this kind of volume, we have an urgent need for secret shoppers, demonstrators, and survey participants in jobs like these:

  • Getaway for a romantic downtown hotel night FREE, plus put 20 bucks in your pocket
  • Secret shop a bank and get paid $75 to report the experience
  • Visit a Day Spa for a half-day (no charge!) & get $25 when you submit your report!
  • Secret Shop a paid 7-Night Caribbean cruise for 2, plus get $200 in ship credit
  • Earn $14-$18 an hour by demonstrating new products
  • Take online surveys, in your PJs, and get paid up to $50 each
  • Make 250 dollars for 2-hours of your opinions on top soda brands
  • And many, many, MANY more!

If you're looking for steady, part-time, or just occasional extra fun money... Whether you have lots of time, or just a little... No matter if you have lots of experience or none at all... The job opportunities at ShadowShopper can help YOU get started in Secret Shopping TODAY!

So here is our last-gasp, DESPERATION plea: Would you try a Bronze ShadowShopper membership, if it were ABSOLUTELY FREE?

We think you will love it, so we are willing to take all the risk and foot the bill. Theres no reason to wait!


You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in ShadowShopper. If you do not wish to receive emails, you can stop all future emails by clicking here or mailing us at: ShadowShopper 21175 Tomball Parkway, Suite 387, Houston, TX 77070.

Here's their website:


The Better Business Bureau reports 151 complaints against ShadowShopper (as of 1/11/2009) and has this to say about ShadowShopper:

Based on BBB files, this business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB due to unanswered complaint(s). This company has been the subject of a pattern of complaint activity. The company has failed to eliminate the underlying cause for consumer complaints. Specifically, consumers have stated that the products and services offered are not what are available once they pay the fee. Consumers have also stated that it is very difficult to make contact with the company, therefore it is difficult to request refunds, cancel automatic billing or cancel the entire service. In some cases consumers continue to be charged for services that they no longer wish to receive. Shadowshopper has very specific company policies posted on their website. The BBB advises that consumers read through the policies carefully before signing up for any service. The trial membership automatically renews to a years membership unless the user changes their preferences. Per the company, users can cancel the automatic renewal at any time during the trial by logging into the site and going to the "My Information" section or notifying the company vian email.

Retrieved January 11, 2008

CFR's Recommendation:

To be clear, we are not alleging that ShadowShopper is a scam; but one measure of whether you should invest in a plan or sign up with any company's service is the number and type of complaints filed against a company with the Better Business Bureau, and how the company in question handles the complaints. We simply offer this advice:

Based on the sheer volume of unresolved complaints filed with the BBB, it would be wise to simply avoid ShadowShopper until their BBB record improves!

If you have any experience with them, we would like to hear about it, good or bad!

Note: There is a Mystery Shopping Providers Association and they may be reached at (972) 406-1104 or via the web at This Association is no way affiliated with Shadowshopper but they may be a great resource for obtaining information on legitimate companies that do hire mystery shoppers.

Also see this FTC publication: The Secrets of Mystery Shopping Revealed [PDF]

How to file a complaint against ShadowShopper

To file a complaint against them, go to the BetterBusinessBureau and click on "file a complaint". For the address of the business use the information below:

21175 Tomball Parkway, PMB # 387 c/o Mail Boxes Etc / UPS Store
Houston, TX 77070


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