Mystery shopper or secret shopper scam is so big that even the FTC has an alert put out for secret shopping scams. Despite that, mystery shopping is still a great way to make some extra cash. But becoming a secret shopper has its own challenges. And one of the most difficult parts parts of it is finding legitmiate mystery shopping companies to work for as a secret shopper job while avoiding scams. That is why I have put together a few tips that will help you avoid secret shopper scams.
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Mystery Shopping Scams Tips
- Avoid Mystery Shopper Scam Western Union
One of the biggest mystery shopping scams is the famous “secret shopper scams western union“. It starts with a person receiving a check from a supposedly real “mystery shopping” company, being asked to deposit the check to their bank account, and wire some of that money through a wire transfer company, like Western Union, and keep the the rest of the money as their reward for mystery shopping that they did not even perform. Of course, after sending their own money, in about a day or so, when the check is supposed to clear, the “shopper” discovers that the check is bad. So, not only s(h)e didn’t make any money, but lost some! Remember, a legitimate mystery shopping company will never send you a check before your shopping is completed. You shop with your own money. Then you report your experience through an email, by phone, or in person, depending on what company you are working with. Once that’s done, you are reimbursed for what you spend, and will be paid.
- Don’t Pay To Become A Mystery Shopper
The good thing about mystery shopping is that real and legitimate mystery shopping companies never charge a fee for registration, not even a cent. If you come across a company/website claiming to be a real mystery shopping company, asking for a fee in order to assign you mystery shopping jobs, turn around, and don’t look back!
- If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is!
In most cases if it sounds too good to be true it probably is! I mean, if a company is promising you that you get to keep things like a $3000 flat screen TV, or a diamond ring for a 20 minuet shopping assignment, don’t you think that’s a bit too much?… After all mystery shopping agencies do what they do to make money. If they were to give out such big payouts, I don’t think they would be making any money. So, stay away from companies with such promises.
Tips to Succeed as a Secret Shopper
- Know The Requirements
Make sure you completely understand the instruction for each specific assignments, and what is required of you, like if you have to do an evaluation of their inventory, prices, or perhaps documenting the names of one or more employee.
- Accept Last Minuet Shopping Assignments
Try to accept last minuet assignments, no matter how big or small the assignment is. Take small assignment as seriously as big ones. Just like any other job, you may not get big assignments in the beginning, but keep doing your best to show you are a dependable and trustworthy shopper. An assignments can be as simple as sitting in a hospital waiting room for 20 minutes, or as hard (enjoyable) as an all expenses paid vacation to a dreamy resort for a week or two!
- Be Prepared!
For most mystery shopping companies, having access to Internet and email, cell phone, and some times fax machine is a plus for their shoppers, as it allows the shoppers to communicate instantly with the company. Having a digital camera, and taking a picture of a fast food restaurants table or floor will allow you a much faster, easier, and more affective way of reporting the cleanness or dirtiness of the restaurant than having to write a one page report.
- Shop on time!
Completing assignments on time is very important, as it establishes you as a dependable shopper, which will help you receive bigger and more important shopping assignments with bigger payouts in the future.
I hope these tips and warnings will help you distinguish between scam and real secret shopping sites, so you can make the most out of your mystery shopping experience, and actually enjoy getting paid to shop instead of being a victim of mystery shopper scams.