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Fake “Customer Services Evaluator” Offer - June 2013
Kantar has learned that its name is being exploited to further a fraudulent “mystery shopper” or “secret shopper” scam. People around the U.S. and Canada are receiving offer letters bearing the Kantar name and logo, and fake contact information, inviting recipients to become a “Customer Services Evaluator” or “Investigative Shopper.” A check or money order is enclosed along with the letter, as payment for the shopping and the recipient’s services. Recipients of the offer are asked to call regarding a training assignment, and are then asked, in their role as a “mystery shopper” to wire money via Western Union or a Money Gram in order to evaluate those services. Of course, the check enclosed with the offer is not legitimate, but by the time that comes to light, the recipients have wired and lost their own money.
Kantar is in no way associated with these offers, and does not conduct any “mystery shopping” services. Unfortunately, these fraudulent schemes are using the names of reputable companies like ours without our permission. We are taking all necessary steps to work with the appropriate law enforcement and governmental authorities about this scam.
If you have received an offer similar to the one described above, we recommend the following:
• DO NOT attempt to cash or deposit the check (if the check has already been deposited, you should alert your bank immediately)
• DO NOT send any money to Western Union or Money Gram
• DO NOT contact any numbers listed on the offer and do not disclose any personal or bank account information
• If you have been scammed, contact your bank, local and/or federal law enforcement authorities on how to proceed to recover any stolen funds, secure your bank account, and protect your personal information and privacy.
• Contact your local post office, your local Western Union or Money Gram office, your state consumer protection agency and other local and national consumer protection agencies and organizations to alert them about this scam.
The research industry will soon be changing over to a new method for classifying households in India. Two industry bodies, the Market Research Society of India (MRSI) and the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) have been involved in this effort. Many researchers and other professionals have worked on the problem.
The final phase of analysis leading to the new system was conducted by Ashutosh Sinha, Vikrant Dogra and Prashant Raikuni of IMRB International.