GBW is a highly reputable world-leading customer experience agency. Over the last 18 years we have conducted over 14 million in store evaluations for leading global and national brands in 105 countries. As with other large companies, GBW's success makes us a prime target for fraudsters looking to profit from using our name.
Some scams involved unsolicited e-mails which claim to be from GBW. These are actually from people looking to defraud you of your money, your identity, or both.
One recent scam involved people who had signed up with a prominent job-search engine and who were contacted and offered work by someone who falsely claimed to be employed by GBW.
Similarly websites exist that seek to use GBW's brand, or content to lure unsuspecting people into giving up their personal details for fraudulent purposes.
These fraudsters and scam artists will often use legitimate GBW postal addresses, logos and other business details in order to appear credible. We take this very seriously and will pursue matters with the relevant authorities in any country where we discover such scams.
However, there are some things you can look out for to help protect yourself:
- In general, you should never respond to unsolicited email campaigns or advertisements from anyone
- Never provide your personal banking, credit card details or driver's license over e-mail or to organisations you do not trust
- Be careful when dealing with people or organizations who charge a joining fee to become a mystery shopper, or who ask you to cash cheques, access bank accounts, etc. on their behalf.
- Be very wary of opportunities that seem "too good to be true" - Mystery Shopping is no way to 'get rich quick', so beware of people promising big returns.
- Play it safe and check the legitimacy of any e-mail or employer that seems suspicious before you respond. Don't assume that just because an e-mail claims to represent a company you know that it actually does. If in doubt, call/email the company and verify the e-mail. Do not use the contact details provided in the e-mail as they are generally set up by the scam artists. Use contact details from the company's official website.
- Most legitimate Mystery Shopping companies are members of the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers' Association). Don't be fooled by fraudsters just using the MSPA name or logo. You can find a list of legitimate companies and their contact details on their website: www.mysteryshop.org
Most importantly, if you believe that you have been the victim of fraud, or attempted fraud, please contact your local law enforcement agency's online crimes department to advise them that you may have been a victim of fraud.
If GBW's name is used in the fraud, please advise us via this link: Contact GBW.
Give as many details as you can, including scanned images of any checks or letters you receive if possible.
Some information about dealing with GBW.
- GBW will not send you e-mail unless you have registered to become a mystery shopper with us through www.gbw.solutions. If you have not registered to become a Mystery Shopper with GBW, and you receive an e-mail from GBW, it is almost certainly a scam.
- All e-mails from GBW will come from an address ending in @gbw.solutions. Many fraudsters send e-mail from @gmail.com, @gmx.com or other public email domain names.
- GBW will never ask you to cash a cheque as part of a Mystery Shopping assignment.
- GBW will never recruit through Craigslist, or similar websites. Be wary of any 'Mystery Shopping' opportunities you find through these sites as there are many scam operators that make use of these channels to find victims.
- GBW is registered with the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers Association). Our details are available through their website: www.mysteryshop.org
- GBW requires its shoppers to lodge all of their results via a secure online site. At no stage will we ask you to fill out and send in your results on paper.
Remember: The fraudsters are using GBW's name to commit fraud, they are not actual representatives of GBW. Help us to stop them taking advantage of people.