Some people are dubious about secret shopping because they think it is a scam. Unfortunately, there are some mystery shopper scams. As the old saying goes, “You don’t counterfeit something that’s not real.” Secret shopping is a genuine way to make money. Just make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate company and don’t fall for promises of making big money fast as a mystery shopper.
Here are some scams that you need to watch out for.
Mystery Shopper Scams Promising Huge Payments
If you receive an offer to purchase a book, membership, or directory of mystery shopping companies which pay very high sums of money, beware. Most companies pay modest amounts, especially to beginning shoppers. Don’t buy into promises that if you buy this or that directory you will soon be making hundreds of dollars per day!
Yes, there are legitimate and helpful books and directories available. Just don’t buy into hype!
Is Selling Links to Mystery Shopper Companies a Scam?
Someone recently asked if anyone selling links to the websites of companies that hire secret shoppers is scamming people, because they can find this information for free on the Internet.
There is lots of information that can be found for free. But often people would rather trade dollars for their time. By purchasing a directory to locate shopper jobs and companies that hire secret shoppers, you can quickly find what you need. You can choose to spend hours scouring the internet for this information or get it all in one directory.
Just as there are directories which people purchase in other industries, many people choose to purchase mystery shopper directories. Obviously if you already know which companies hire shoppers and how to find online listings of mystery shopper jobs, you would not necessarily need to purchase a directory. However, a directory may contain sources that you never knew about, and some of them might be just the right fit for you. Also directories may have descriptions of they types of shopping jobs offered by individual companies. This can save you a ton of time. Instead of logging into companies’ websites and filling out a registration form before finding out what type of assignments they offer, you can get that information ahead of time.
I often read messages on forums that claim that those who spend their time and effort putting together mystery shopper information are scammers. Why should people who devote themselves to providing a service that saves people time and gets them earning money faster not be paid for their efforts?
Check Cashing Scam
One “secret shopper” offer that is now circulating is an offer to take a large cashier’s check or money order to the bank and deposit it into your account. Then you are supposed to wire most of the money to another bank account and keep the rest for yourself.
This offer might be described in terms of reporting on the customer service you receive at the bank. The large amount of payment involved makes it sound appealing. But the fact is that the check is no good, and you will be stuck for the wiring charges and the bounced check.
At the bottom of this page are videos about this scam.
Just because there are scams, don’t be turned off about secret shopping. There are several hundred legitimate secret shopping companies. Study the information on this blog and you’ll be able to recognize legitimate shopping opportunities.
Don’t Call Secret Shopper 900 Numbers!
As you probably know, calling a 900 number results in a charge to your phone bill. If you see an ad that requires you to call a 900 number for Secret Shopper info, ignore it! One tactic is to put you on hold and switch you around from one person to the next. All the while, your phone bill is being run up because you are being charged by the minute.
You could end up with a $40 phone charge and never receive any information that is any different than what you can find right here on this free internet site!
Don’t Fall For Certification Scams
One of the new mystery shopper scams on the scene is the creation of false “Mystery Shopper Certification” programs. With these you are asked to pay money to become certified so that you can become qualified for higher pay from mystery shopper provider companies. By enticing “newbies” with Secret Shopper ads, people that perpetuate this fraud scam folks out of money that doesn’t need to be spent. The “certifications” turn out to be worthless. The only real certification that I am aware of is that which you can obtain through the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. This certification is not required to do mystery shopping, but some companies give preferred shopping jobs to those with this certification.
Mystery Shopper Check Scam Videos