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      October 20, 2017

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How to Spot Mystery Shopping Scams

Have you ever heard of a professional shopper? Perhaps you would like to be one. Simply put, a secret shopper gets paid to work when they want, however often they want and where they want. For many, getting paid to shop for a living is nothing short of a dream come true. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), however, not all mystery shopping opportunities provide the dream job that they promise. The truth is that there are legitimate companies that hire secret shoppers to evaluate their business while posing as a customer, but it's important to realize how to spot the real deal versus a real ripoff.

In most instances, a mystery shopper will be assigned a specific task within a business and will then provide the company with a written evaluation of their experience. Generally, the secret shopper will be reimbursed for their purchase, which means the product is theirs to keep at no charge. In addition, secret shoppers are paid for their time. The actual rate of pay will depend on the job, the time spent and the company's policy.

Due to the popularity of the mystery shopping industry, scams are a growing problem. Because mystery shopping does not require any type of special certification, it is recommended that consumers remain cautious of any company that charges a fee in exchange for information relating to a certification program. A few of the most common places for these scams to appear include newspaper advertisements and in unsolicited e-mail. The FTC warns that, "The shopping certification offered in advertising or unsolicited e-mail is almost always worthless."

As is the case with any industry, it's nearly impossible to guarantee someone a job. The same is true with mystery shopping and consumers should be mindful of any business that promotes a guarantee of a job or a specific income amount. Every mystery shopping job is unique, along with its rate of pay, which is why it is especially beneficial for anyone interested in becoming a secret shopper to be familiar with realistic and legitimate advertising practices.

There is an old saying that says, "If something sounds to good to be true, it probably is." Today, that saying rings true in almost every aspect of life, including business. If a mystery shopping opportunity sounds to good and promises to much, it would be wise to research the company before becoming a member. You can conduct your own, independent investigation by checking with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any potential complaints lodged against the company and/or to determine whether or not their record is satisfactory.

With the internet being a wealth of information relating to almost any topic, mystery shopping opportunities are easy to find. Legitimate companies looking to hire a secret shopper can easily be found with a few clicks of the mouse and, best of all, most accept applications via the internet. One of the best ways to learn about valuable mystery shopping opportunities is, much like the industry itself, through a third-party independent evaluation. If you have the opportunity to read one or more reviews about a particular mystery shopping company, this may provide you with the information needed to begin your career in professional and profitable shopping.

Overcoming Challenges in Retail with Mystery Shopping

As a retail brand, there are certain elements your company deems important in order to uphold your brand image to your customers. It's imperative that each frontline employee represents the brand according to the standards set for service delivery.

Published:  Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:39:00 GMT



Spam heists in Hawaii prompt retailers to put the wildly popular "˜mystery meat' in locked cases

But it was real. The man took off with the Spam and disappeared. Elsewhere on the island at about the same time, three women loaded up shopping carts at a Long's drugstore with 18 cases of - you guessed it - Spam. They made a rush for the exit.

Published:  Thu, 19 Oct 2017 01:47:00 GMT



Who is this mystery man Galveston woman begins search to find apparent veteran's identity

Mother thanks mystery man for saving daughter in Vegas Meet the mystery guitarist who rocked 'Star-Spangled Banner' after"¦ "I was just shopping at Goodwill in the book section and when I opened up the book, these pictures fell out," Tinnon said.

Published:  Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:47:00 GMT



Grocery store mystery 'elf' inspires others to give back

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -- A Super Saver grocery store in Lincoln, Nebraska has what they refer to as a "mystery elf." A shopper comes into the store every Friday and purchases a $10 gift card. She then gives it to a cashier and tells them to give it out to ...

Published:  Wed, 18 Oct 2017 01:00:00 GMT



First Impressions: "Black," A Dark Drama Filled With Fast-Paced Mystery And Plot Twists

It's a perfect watch as Halloween approaches, showcasing a fast-paced plot filled with mystery, intrigue ... It quickly yields results - Ha Ram foresees a hostage being shot at a shopping mall by a runaway soldier. She demands help from a reluctant ...

Published:  Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:10:00 GMT



Mystery shopper: Norwich

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent advisers in the UK. The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser. It is only intended to ...

Published:  Wed, 11 Oct 2017 02:54:00 GMT



BCSO Warns of "Mystery Shopper" Scam

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Bay County Sheriff's Deputies are warning the community about a scam targeting people who wish to work from home. They have received complaints about the "Mystery Shopper" scam. The offer to become a Mystery Shopper is usually received ...

Published:  Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:45:00 GMT



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