Money ASIC sounds warning over fake ‘shadow shopping’ scams

19:55  14 february  2018
19:55  14 february  2018 Source:   smartcompany.com.au

Five ways to fix your bad money habits

  Five ways to fix your bad money habits Are you hoping for more money, less problems in 2018? Here's what 10 financial planners believe are the best ways to break bad money patterns. 1.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has warned the public to be wary of scammers claiming to represent the regulator as part of its shadow shopping [Related: ASIC ’s shadow shopping exercise to evaluate ‘broker advice’]. Warning issued over shadow shopper scam .

Shadow Shopper - Mystery Shopping Membership Review. Sounds like a different operation, not Shadow Shopper, that tried to rip you off. So I felt I had a lot to offer as a mystery shopper. I feel it is a scam as well. I never got anywhere with them.

  ASIC sounds warning over fake ‘shadow shopping’ scams © Provided by Private Media Operations Pty Ltd.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned consumers and businesses to be on the look out for scammers masquerading as ASIC in an attempt to recruit potential victims for ‘shadow shopping’ campaigns in an attempt steal personal information.

ASIC said on Tuesday that scammers are cold calling people at random and pretending to be working on behalf of the financial regulator, asking them to sign up to work as a ‘shadow shopper’ for an ASIC compliance and monitoring campaign.

‘Shadow shopping’ or ‘mystery shopping’ is a process in which marketing agencies send workers pretending to be ordinary customers to purchase goods and access services from certain businesses. The workers assess the standards of the business or provider and report back to the marketing agency.

AccuWeather error sends false tsunami warnings along the East Coast

  AccuWeather error sends false tsunami warnings along the East Coast This morning, an error in AccuWeather’s apps caused a routine National Weather Service tsunami test to go out to as a push notification or SMS alert, warning people of a nonexistent tsunami across the East Coast, reports TheHerald Tribune. The alert — which was meant as a test of transmission times for actual alerts — was apparently flagged as a genuine alert by the AccuWeather app, causing users with notifications enabled to wake up to a tsunami warning this morning. According to the NWS’s Miami branch, the tsunami test is one that is regularly conducted on a monthly basis, but apparently something went wrong this month that triggered the alerts for AccuWeather users.

ASIC ’s current shadow shopper activities are solely limiting to contracting real, existing clients through registered research firms. In practice, it is relatively unlikely At QED, we are strongly encouraging you to reach out to your clients as they are not likely to hear about this notice and may fall victim to scams

DRIVERS are being warned not to click the link on a fake DVLA text message. The car tax scam was reported on Twitter with several users posting images of the dodgy text. Phishing scams use mock official-looking website that ask you to enter data like bank details and addresses before stealing it.

ASIC regularly contracts shadow shopping agencies to conduct research and survey the market or to check if new regulations are being carried out by businesses.

An ASIC spokesperson tells SmartCompany the regulator has received a number of messages, which led it to investigate the situation.

Generally after there has been a few stories [in newspapers] that we might be undertaking research, this sort of thing can arise,” they said.

The spokesperson says scammers will even sometimes invite potential victims to professional group events to make it appear more professional.

Whitney Port Is Down for a 'Hills' Reboot

  Whitney Port Is Down for a 'Hills' Reboot The 32-year-old designer said 'it would be fun to see where we're all at,' nearly eight years after the series finale.ET's Keltie Knight spoke with the 32-year-old designer at the Rachel Zoe Fall 2018 fashion show and Spring 2018 Box of Style celebration at the Jeremy Hotel in Los Angeles on Monday, where she revealed that she's down for a Hills reboot -- minus the "fake drama.

Shopping & Saving. Warn your friends about tech support scams . Scammers create fake emergencies to get your money.

Sell directly to your fans with total control over your music and pricing. Easy access to your customers’ data, real-time stats, music chart reporting, and more.

What we’ve found is they purport to be looking for shadow shoppers for a campaign. That might be by way of a so-called education seminar, or a hard-sell campaign,” the spokesperson says.

The scammers running the event then get attendees to fill out a questionnaire with personal information.

“it will generally involve getting access to people they can subsequently take advantage of,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement, ASIC referred to “theshadowshopper.com” as one of the false agencies people should avoid, as the website incorrectly claims to be associated with ASIC.  Source code for theshadowshopper.com reveals the website is embedding content from another website — producttestingau.com.

SmartCompany attempted to contact theshadowshopper.com and producttestingau.com, but did not receive a response.

ASIC explained in its statement that there is legitimate market research firm called Shadow Shopper, which operates the website www.shadowshopper.com.au, but this business is not connected or associated with the scam.

Valentine’s Day sales predicted to rake in $1.09 billion this year

  Valentine’s Day sales predicted to rake in $1.09 billion this year Australian consumers are tipped to shell out an average of $43.61 on someone special this Valentine’s Day, with travel and accommodation spending expected to top the list for the romantic occasion.An IBISworld forecast predicts Australians will spend $1.09 billion on February 14 this year, with more than half of the sales boost, or $621.3 million, expected to come from couples looking to get away for the holiday by spending cash on travel and accommodation.Australians are tipped to spend approximately $89.

During the holiday season it’s not unusual for both UPS and FedEx to show up at the Bradley household on an almost daily basis. We receive order confirmation and shipping notification emails for each delivery—and that's just what cybercriminals are counting on.

Chinese scammers will gladly be able to hand over photo- shopped documentation ‘proving’ their authenticity. Pretty much all documentation is easy to fake , especially when it’s being viewed by non-experts in other countries who are not accustomed to the type of documentation in question.

Heather Cullen, chief executive of Shadow Shopper, tells SmartCompany the scam has been affecting the business because their URL is so similar to the scam website.

“This has been causing us a lot of grief. What [the scammers] have been doing is using mobile phones to contact people and they change each day. Once I did get through and I spoke them and asked if they worked with ASIC and they said ‘oh yes we’re working with ASIC!” she says.

Cullen also says no reputable agency would cold call people.

“If its a cold call, hang up. No reputable company does that. Or even if its an unsolicited email.”

Be wary of the details you hand over

Kate Gorman, national accounts director at customer research agency the Realise Group, says there are a number of ways to verify if a shadow shopping agency is genuine.

“They should be looking for the company website, seeing if they’re a legitimate marketing research company or checking if they’re part of the Mystery Shopping Professional Association,” Gorman tells SmartCompany.

“I think people need to be definitely wary before they give out their personal information to anyone, but definitely research the company requesting the data.”

Gorman says agencies tend not to just recruit anyone. They look for potential recruits with a keen attention to detail and good comprehension skills, and only ask for basic information when signing up recruits.

It’s pretty much just their name, they sign a statement by supplier form and just their bank details so we can pay them,” she says.

Melbourne measles case prompts warning .
Melburnians have been warned of a measles threat after a man carrying the infectious disease visited locations throughout the city's southeast.Over five days up to February 12, the man aged in his 40s visited a costume store, liquor shop, Centrelink and multiple sports facilities in the area, prompting a health alert on Tuesday.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!