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:

  1. They ask you to pay an upfront fee. Honestly, this is advice for ANY job. Never pay upfront.
  2. Charge you to have access to see available jobs.
  3. 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.
  4. Making outrageous claims such as making $50-$100/hour, getting to keep designer clothes or products, or getting paid to do nothing.
  5. Although this isn’t true for all jobs, one thing to be wary of are contact emails with general accounts. For example, billsmith@gmail.com or janedoe@yahoo.com.

Ways to tell the mystery shopper job is legitimate:

  1. Shoppers being paid by the job, not the hour.
  2. In the application process, you will be asked your SSN. It is because they have to report your income to IRS.
  3. Check to see if it’s a secure website.
  4. 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!

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