ASIC has issued a warning over a scam where cold callers claim to be shadow shopping on behalf of the regulator.
ASIC said today that scammers are claiming to be looking for shadow shoppers as part of an ASIC compliance and monitoring campaign.
As Australian Broker reported last month, ASIC has launched the second phase of its review into the mortgage broking industry by examining the suitability of brokers' advice through a mystery shopping exercise.
While this project has started, an ASIC spokesperson told Australian Broker recently that no one would yet have arranged a mortgage yet as part of the exercise.
"That phase will be happening soon," said the spokesperson.
Using the website www.theshadowshopper.com, the scammers offer to pay potential shadow shoppers for their time. They may also encourage individuals to meet in person or attend a presentation, after which they will receive a questionnaire to complete, said ASIC.
"ASIC has no involvement with this website or its operators, and is undertaking inquiries into the activities of the operators," said the regulator.
It urges anyone contacted by the scammers or referred to their website to not respond.
"From time to time ASIC carries out genuine consumer research including shadow shops, however we only work with accredited market research companies. If you are contacted by a company representing that they are undertaking research for ASIC you can call ASIC's Infoline on 1300 300 630 to check."
ASIC also said that the scam is not connected or associated with legitimate market research firm Shadow Shopper at http://www.shadowshopper.com.au/.
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