How to Avoid Mystery Shopping Scams

Mystery shopping is a very fun way to earn some free stuff, eat some free meals, and make some great money while helping to improve a business. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mystery shopping scams out there. Follow these tips to avoid those scams:

  • DO NOT pay a registration fee to a mystery shopping company.
  • DO NOT pay for “certification”, “training materials”, or “secret lists”.
  • DO expect that the mystery shopping company will prescreen you in some way – this is a job after all! If they don’t, run fast the other way.
  • DO NOT provide a debit or credit card, even if they say they won’t charge it.
  • DO NOT respond to mystery shopping ads in the classifieds or ones you hear on the radio.
  • DO remember that if something is too good to be true, it probably is – don’t expect to make thousands of dollars from a shop or get to keep high-end items such as TVs.
  • DO NOT accept a cashier’s check as payment, these are often time fakes.
  • DO contact the Better Business Bureau to make sure the mystery shopping company is legit.


2 Responses to “How to Avoid Mystery Shopping Scams”

  1. Kristin on March 31st, 2009 11:30 pm

    Yes… NEVER cash those unexpected checks! I’ve heard of too many stories of victims. The whole cashier’s check is about the most popular bait right now. You cash it, send some of the money back to the sender, then the banks catch the bounced check – YOU have to pay the amount PLUS fees! A good place to start is the Mystery Shopping Providers Association – the companies that belong to this have to adhere to certain guidelines.

  2. Carolyn Malcom on October 12th, 2010 2:48 pm

    How does one become a mystery shopper?

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