Getting paid to mystery shop. Sounds awesome, right? However, there are some scams out there. Check out these guidelines on how to determine if you’re being set up:
- They ask you to pay an upfront fee. Honestly, this is advice for ANY job. Never pay upfront.
- Charge you to have access to see available jobs.
- Asking you to wire money. This is a huge RED FLAG. They may send you a check for a large sum of money, claiming you get to keep part of the check. They may then ask you to wire-transfer it through Western Union. This could land you in jail because these checks are typically counterfeit.
- Making outrageous claims such as making $50-$100/hour, getting to keep designer clothes or products, or getting paid to do nothing.
- Although this isn’t true for all jobs, one thing to be wary of are contact emails with general accounts. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Ways to tell the mystery shopper job is legitimate:
- Shoppers being paid by the job, not the hour.
- In the application process, you will be asked your SSN. It is because they have to report your income to IRS.
- Check to see if it’s a secure website.
- If a company is a part of the MPSA website (www.mysteryshop.org) it is a company you can trust. A list of companies can be found at: http://www.mysteryshop.org/member-companies
If you feel like something seems wrong, trust your instincts and don’t get scammed!