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      January 20, 2019

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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.

Any Questions #386: Mystery Hunt

Mystery Machine Extra credit 1 ... 4:36 WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a holiday shopping spree. Listen Listening... 4:33 WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer M...

Published:  Sat, 19 Jan 2019 06:46:00 GMT



Mystery as a body is found near a popular shopping centre in Melbourne's north

Investigators are baffled after a body was found near a Melbourne shopping centre on Wednesday morning. Police were called to Main Drive near Plenty Road in the suburb of Bundoora at 7am. The body has ...

Published:  Tue, 15 Jan 2019 10:15:00 GMT



Here's the reality of being a mystery shopper, and how to find a company that's legit

Being a mystery shopper is more involved than a lot of people think. You have to apply, qualify, sign a contract, request specific assignments, get the assignments, complete the assignment on time ...

Published:  Mon, 14 Jan 2019 22:08:00 GMT



DrakeMall - A New mystery Brand in Discount Shopping and Gift Card System

What if I was to tell you that you could win an iPhone XS Max You probably would call me a liar, but that is definitely how things work with Drakemall. You can win other items too, including a ...

Published:  Tue, 08 Jan 2019 11:36:00 GMT



"śMystery Shopper' Experiment Finds Charters Often Snub Those With Special Needs

Inquiries to thousands of schools across the country show that students with special needs are routinely ignored by charter schools before they even get a chance to apply. In a "mystery shopper" exper...

Published:  Thu, 10 Jan 2019 21:19:00 GMT



Coast Guard urges furloughed members to become "mystery shoppers" to pay bills

The U.S. Coast Guard published and later removed a tip sheet urging furloughed members to supplement their income during the partial government shutdown by taking on odd jobs. The Coast Guard, the onl...

Published:  Thu, 10 Jan 2019 22:00:00 GMT



Coast Guard's Shutdown Advice To Members: 'Be A Mystery Shopper'

The advice Spend less, find a babysitting gig, host a garage sale or become a "mystery shopper." The worst-case scenario was listed at the bottom of the five-page informational packet: "Bankruptcy is ...

Published:  Wed, 09 Jan 2019 20:03:00 GMT



Coast Guard tells employees affected by shutdown to 'have a garage sale,' walk pets or become 'a mystery shopper'

Let them eat odd jobs. The U.S. Coast Guard offered its employees a set of tonedeath tips Wednesday on how to deal with the crippling government shutdown that has cut off their paychecks, suggesting t...

Published:  Wed, 09 Jan 2019 04:55:00 GMT



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