AboutFace Shops

AboutFace Shops review: false advertising 7

Author of the review
1:19 am EST
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
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This is a "mystery shopping" company that promises legitimate work, but backs out if all does not go according to plan. I was approved to shop for this company and signed up for a job that paid $30 + $3 for a well-written report. I extended myself to go beyond my usual boundaries to complete the assigned shop for this company.

On the day of the shop, I was sent to the wrong address. I did not turn around and go home! No, I searched out relevant information, completed the shop in the best way I could and returned home to report the results to About Face. com. I was accused of not fulfilling my obligations despite the fact that I had checked the destination of the shop three times before embarking upon it. I was told that if I arrived at the proper destination, and the sales associate I had agreed to audit was not there, even though scheduled to be, the shop would be lowered in value.

All I can say is that this provision covers About Face, but not the contractual shopper, and is merely a loophole to get out of paying the shop fee if any wrong info is given. In this case, it was. I spent two hours of time and drove sixty miles to complete this shop, but because I was given totally wrong information, it was impossible for me to complete this shop as scheduled. Even though I returned home and reported all of the details immediately, About Face decided that they did not want to pay me for the services rendered.

I am an MSPA certified shopper with a good reputation with a large number of companies. This type of discriminatory treatment from one company, About Face, is unacceptable and I am here to warn you of their double standards. You will be expected to obey every direction, but they will not return the same courtesy to you. Beware companies such as this who will gladly accept your work commitment and then not honor you in kind.

I am very sorry to have had this most disagreeable experience with About Face. They rejected my shop, after I spent several hours on it, and excluded me from their site without notice after I made an official complaint. This only goes to show you who has the power in these situations. It is not a fair forum among Contractor and Contractee - no it is all about who has the power to shut the other one down.

I've been shut down, but I hope you will learn from my experience and see out fair-minded companies to deal with you and those you love when contracting out to do legitimate work during these hard times we are facing.

best regards,


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

Heather Stokes
Atlanta, US
Apr 25, 2017 2:44 pm EDT

Thank you so much for writing us about a Mystery shop scam using the AboutFace™ name. We've been aware of these and other scams for some time now, and actively want to work with people like yourself to shut down this fraudulent activity. AboutFace is a leader in our industry, and we take fraudulent activity very seriously. We are a legitimate Mystery Shopping Company with over 20 years’ experience, and an A+ rated company with the BBB. We want to provide you with some ways to spot shopper scams, as well as the action you can take.

If you spot any fraudulent advertisements, or receive questionable or fraudulent mail or email from anyone claiming to be with AboutFace, please do the following:

1) Contact the respective company to confirm legitimacy. Email questionable items received to or fax in the items to [protected]
2) Report any mail you received from FedEx or the United States Postal Service to them immediately.
3) If there is a phone number in your correspondence, verify it is from the actual company, and if not, report it also as fraudulent.
4) Back Track your internet steps to review links you may have recently clicked on and shared information.
Sites like Craigslist are infamous for having fraudulent links where when you share your personal information. This information can be used to commit fraud. Any such links should be reported immediately.
5) If you have been contacted by email by an individual running a scam, please do an IP trace shown below to
determine where their e-mail was sent. This can be done from your computer.
a) Visit this site, follow the instructions carefully. This is an important step and must be done to proceed further. or
6) Please be aware that if you have any money orders or checks sent by scammers, always ask yourself, why was I sent this? DO NOT CASH THEM as they are likely stolen or counterfeit. Check with the individual company to see if you are registered with them, and confirm their payment policy. If you have received any physical items from these people such as envelopes, package wrappings, or anything physical, and would like to press charges, to the best of your ability try not to get your prints on them. Store them in a plastic bag and take them to your local police department and press charges.

Now it's time to inform several agencies and organizations:

1) Contact the MSPA (Mystery Shopper Providers’ Association) first to confirm if the company who sent you the scam is a MSPA member. The MSPA website will list legitimate companies on their website. You can email them, but there is little they can do other than verify each company’s legitimacy. If you email them, let them know that you're sending an email as a record that you were contacted by someone pretending to be AboutFace™ and that you would like them to keep the email with your information on file.
2) Next, notify the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). You can either file your complaint with them a) On the phone at [protected]-FTC-HELP)
b) Online:
The FTC employee will ask you questions like how you became aware of the scam, the email address and name of the scammer. Have all your information handy and give them whatever they need.
3) Now you should contact the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint site.
a) You can file your report online:
4) Finally, the last step you need to take is to file a report with PhoneBusters. a) Toll Free - [protected]
b) Toll Free Fax - [protected]
c) Website: d) Email:

Best Practices and Clues: If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. See below for some identifying clues to determine if communications are legitimate or fraudulent.

Review the following video from the MSPA on shopper scams

1) You are sent 'money' in the form of a check before completing a shop, or if an offer includes a high payment amount for a relatively easy assignment, beware. Again, these checks are fraudulent and your bank will hold you liable if they were cashed. Beware of a large check that you are to deposit into your account, send most of the money to the sender, and you keep the balance. As a Best Practice, most companies do not pay shoppers in advance.
2) We have found in most cases, those who have been scammed are not registered shoppers with us. Please be weary of any information sent to you from a shopping company with whom you are not registered as a shopper. If you are asked to pay money to become a shopper, or if you are asked to do a shop for a company you are not registered with, beware. Legitimate mystery shopping firms never ask for money from a shopper, and require shopper sign up prior to assignment. See the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA).
3) The email address does not use a legitimate corporate email name. AboutFace emails will always be in the form of If the person contacting you has a non-corporate or varied email address, it is not from a legitimate mystery shopping company. Watch closely for any variation of the
email domain. Example is not a legitimate domain from AboutFace.
4) The regular mail has a letter with a legitimate return address but the postmark is not from the same area, it is likely a scam. Almost all AboutFace correspondence with shoppers will be by email. Our corporate mailing address is listed on our letterhead, when the postmark does not match the return address, use caution.

AboutFace™ thanks you once again for helping us. We are making a huge positive difference, and by helping us out,
you are doing your part in making the internet safer for all of us. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Judy Weddle
, US
Apr 21, 2017 8:08 pm EDT

I received a check for 2450. USD from Alex Baker of About Face. I was asked to deposit the check, take out my 200.00 for my pay and then go to Walmart after texting that I had deposited the check. I did sign up for Mystery Shopping job, but after researching this one I have found several complaints that it is a SCAM. I'm not going to cash the check and have an appointment with my local sheriff to turn it over to them for further investigation. Its good that they are sites out on the internet to help discover these fraudulent companies. I urge each of you to report this kind of activity to your local authorities, banks, and post office (the mission is sent via USPS Priority Mail which makes it a Federal Offence)

rickmanswarth, GB
May 09, 2012 6:09 am EDT

why do people who have sent nasty and liable ones to yet nathings done to stop it we shouldnt have to keep changing are face book profiles to stop them my doughter had them now me frome a jade boswell and her sissterinlaw they need to be stopped before legal action taken this is where i feel let down sandra sawyer a face book member

Sioux Falls, US
May 24, 2011 4:57 pm EDT

I think a lot depends on your scheduler. If they are more interested in saving their own necks rather than admitting that they sent you to the wrong place, on the wrong date, or whatever, then you are going to have a problem. I find that they are inconsistent in notifying us about shops and some don't even get posted before they are filled--which is the opposite of what my scheduler told me was the case when she sent me on the wrong date.
So, I can see how some people would have a better experience than others. It also depends on your editor, who reviews your submission for spelling, punctuation, and accuracy. If they are not happy, you are in trouble also. Finally, some places are now deducting from a lousy ten dollar shop fee if they have to make small changes to your report. That company charges you 10.00 to be on their list--and they never have jobs that pay over 7.00 in my area--that is right, 7.00 for an 85 question shop. So, the bottom line is that there are better and there are worse places to shop for.

Sioux Falls, US
May 24, 2011 4:48 pm EDT

I agree with this complaint. I have been an MSPA certified shopper since 2004 and have an excellent reputation with over 16 national companies. I do believe that they look for loopholes to not pay individuals. In my case, my scheduler emailed me and told me to do a scheduled shop on a different date than I had actually signed up for. I had not accepted other assignments from another company as they were in another area of the state and had scheduled About Face. Much to my surprise, the scheduler was WRONG and I had the correct date to begin with. People make mistakes but what makes this outrageous is that I got penalized for the missed shop even though I had her email telling me to go the wrong date. I was told that I was not penalized but my friend, who is the same age and sex as me, has three times the shop available to her, even though she is not MSPA certified, so what else could explain this? I wish this company would shop their support staff such as their schedulers because I have never seen the likes of this lack of professionalism. Also, the company did not even apologize for changing the shop to the wrong date and therefore depriving me of any income that date. When I asked for the next shop for that place when it became available, I was told it was not possible to do that (bull...I owned a company and was licensed as a private investigator, so the lie is insulting). I am thinking of complaining to the MSPA about them.
They really do find reasons to not pay for shops too...I have heard this from my friend, who has a Master's Degree and who is a new mom and has years of shopping experience. What is going on here with these people?

Fairfax, US
Jan 18, 2010 11:52 am EST

I have done jobs for About Face for almost 4 years. I find them easy to work for, fair and fast in payment. I do jobs for over 30 companies and have completed over 2000 jobs. I have had incorrect addresses/closed locations four times. In each case I have called the scheduler of the assignment and have been given a gratuity for my efforts at going to the assigned location. To all those who mystery shop I can only say call the location and check on hours, directions, etc. before you go to make sure everything is in order. Then you can always call the scheduler if there is a change.


, US
Dec 14, 2009 10:08 am EST

I'm a college student looking for some extra money. I was looking into until I read your complaint and I was just wondering if you have worked for any other mystery shopper companies that were legit.

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