The MSPA (Mystery Shoppers Providers Association) has reported that a malicious attacker has likely obtained a database of mystery shopper passwords (origin unknown) and has successfully hacked shopper accounts on the PRISM/iSecretShop platform (not a SASSIE platform) and re-routed Paypal payments to their account.
Please note we have detected NO attempted or successful hacks of Paypal rerouting on our platform. The hacked accounts occurred on a completely different platform (PRISM/iSecretShop) from ours (SASSIE).
However, we still recommend that you take the following actions:
1) If you use the same password on other mystery shopping platforms: change your password on our system to something completely unique (preferably not used on ANY other of your mystery shopping accounts, not even other SASSIE accounts)
2) Immediately report to us if you receive an email alert notifying you that your shopper email address has been changed to an unfamiliar account.
Thank you for helping us ensure the safety of your mystery shopping account.
Welcome Back Shoppers!
AOL EMAIL ISSUES
Pinnacle is having trouble reaching mystery shoppers with an AOL email account. We apologize for the inconvenience, but at this time recommend switching to an alternative email provider (gmail, yahoo, msn, etc.) if you can. Remember that if you update your email address on your Pinnacle profile, that you’ll also need to make sure that new address is added on your PayPal for smooth payment transition.
Pinnacle’s Payment Schedule
Pinnacle’s payment schedule runs as follows; any shop completed before the 20th of this month will be paid on the 10th of next month, while any shop that is completed after the 20th of this month will be paid on the 10th of the month following the next. If the 10th falls on the weekend, then the payment will be sent through on the Friday prior or the Monday following.
Payments are made directly via PayPal. Please ensure that your login email address for Pinnacle matches an email address provided on your PayPal account. This is how the payment is sent. PayPal will send you an email notification when payment has been received. You may also check your shopper log to see the payment status for any shop given above the shop fee information.
Keep in mind that only shops that have been completed according to the instructions in the guidelines can be accepted and become eligible for payment. If you have any questions about your guidelines, please contact your Account Manager directly.
IMPROVING THE MYSTERY SHOPPING INDUSTRY
In our continued effort to grow and improve the mystery shopping industry, we encourage you to learn more about being an independent contractor by visiting the website of Its My Business, a new organization dedicated to protecting the rights of America's 10.3 million independent contractors. The website can be found at www.itsmybusiness.com.
Shoppers are also eligible to become members of the mystery shopping industry's association, MSPA North America. Visit the website to learn more about the benefits for shoppers to be members of the association. www.mysteryshop.org.
MYSTERY SHOPPING WITH PINNACLE
After login above, remember to visit our Job Board for the latest available assignments. You can apply directly for any shops that interest you and for which you are eligible. Read the shop information carefully before applying and be sure to answer the application question. You may be able to select the date you are available to complete the assignment, or even self-assign the shop.
Remember that your profile on our website is totally FREE and our site does not maintain any layers of membership. You have full access to the site, on which you will be able to apply for, prepare for and complete shops independently.
Pinnacle’s Account Managers are pleased to be of assistance to you with any questions. Contact us via email or telephone with any concern, suggestion or query.
Want to connect with us on a more social forum? Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!
We appreciate you.
AVOID MYSTERY SHOPPING SCAMS
Pinnacle is A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau. We pride ourselves on being responsive, professional, and transparent. We are long-time members of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and enjoy membership to NARMS as well.
Common warning signs for mystery shopping scams include:
• Unsolicited emails or messages on social networking sites (i.e. “You have been selected!”)
• Requests to deposit checks to your bank account and to review Western Union or another money wire service
• Messages with poor grammar
• Unusually high payment
“Legitimate mystery shopping firms will not send out checks prior to the completion of an evaluation – and they will not reach out to you unless you have signed up as a mystery shopper with their agency.” says MSPA-NA President Rich Bradley. “Remember, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”
Pinnacle Financial Strategies will never:
Require that you cash or deposit a check that we send you as part of a mystery shopping assignment.
Ask you to transfer funds to an account as part of a mystery shopping assignment.
Send you a letter via the mail telling you that you have been selected to participate in a paid consumer research program.
If you receive a communication as described above, please notify Pinnacle right away. You may be asked to contact the local police department to warn them of a scam in your area also.
As a Pinnacle Financial Strategies shopper you will only be contacted regarding upcoming assignments by phone or by email from an employee using an @pinnstrat.com email address. Additionally, you will always be able to reach someone at our offices during regular business hours if you need to verify that an opportunity is legitimate.
Please visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website for more information and helpful tips on becoming a shopper, finding reputable mystery shopping companies, and avoiding current scams in our industry. You'll find the MSPA at www.mysteryshop.org
Pinnacle Contact Information for General Inquiries
Phone: 800 741 7758
For questions specific to an assignment in your log, please contact your Account Manager directly.