Mystery shopping. It sounds intriguing and fun. Could possibly a lucrative way to save up for something special. Or pay the bills.
Were these your thoughts when you started mystery shopping?
You get caught up in signing up for opportunities. Start clicking here and there when you are emailed about assignments. And then – SMACK – you happened upon the one rotten apple.
And you got scammed.
A current scam on mystery shopping companies takes the form of having our names, trademarked logos and even the copy from web pages being used by scammers. We don’t want our industry or the company we’ve worked hard to build, to get a tarnished reputation from these creeps. We thought it was time to review some of the basics.
How to Spot a Scammer
Mystery shopping companies will not:
- Send you a check before a shop. Especially with a brand new shopper. And never in thousands of dollars.
- Ask you to deposit that check and immediately make a transaction to purchase gift cards or send money.
- Not provide a phone number where you can reach them.
If something doesn’t seem right, please double check with the company who is being represented. Do not take any action until someone from that organization confirms this is a legitimate mystery shopping assignment.
More information is available at our industry trade association website.
Know Who You are Working With
At present, legitimate mystery shopping companies will:
- Have an on-line presence where you can log in, check your assignment guidelines and fill out your report.
- Require you to do several entry level types of shops before offering you high-paying shops. (This can be waived if we cannot find seasoned shoppers, but you will be carefully coached by your account manager or scheduler).
- Be willing to talk with you on the phone about issues or concerns you may have about an assignment.
Committing on line and mail fraud is a serious crime. If you see advertising for shoppers as a mystery shopping company that you know and trust, but something doesn’t seem right, please contact us. Take screen shots of ads, send us documents that have been sent to you, and make others aware.
Mystery shopping is a serious business that can be intriguing, fun and a lucrative way to earn money.
Let’s all work together to keep it a safe, secure business!
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Do you know someone who would be a good mystery shopper? Please forward this post to them! You’ll be sharing the wealth and spreading happiness! And, after all, isn’t that what we all want?