Mystery shopping is a valuable tool used by some of the largest retailers, restaurants and banks to understand and enhance the experience they provide their customers. However, it is not a quick and easy way to make a large sum of money and receive numerous freebies. The Mystery Shopping Provider Association has developed some of the following tips for those interested in becoming a mystery shopper:
Prospective shoppers do not have to pay a fee to become a mystery shopper. Shoppers should be extremely wary of any mystery shopping offer that requests a fee.
Be wary of any letter you receive that is postmarked from any other Country, especially from Canada.
Visit the MSPA Web site www.mysteryshop.org/shoppers for a list of reputable mystery shopping companies and opportunities. Contact the companies directly, not the MSPA, for more information on how to become a shopper. Look up the company at www.txpanhandle.bbb.org to see what grade they have. Search by name of business, phone number and URLs. Search carefully! Many times a fraudulent company will change their name and website but will not change their phone number.
Be patient. It takes time, sometimes months or even longer, to be contacted with an offer to conduct a shopping assignment.
Be cautious of opportunities that offer large sums of money for simple tasks like cashing a check or wiring money. A typical mystery shopping evaluation will earn about $10 to $20. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Texas State Attorney General’s Office offers tips to help you avoid being swindled by fake check scams:
- Be suspicious of any check from an individual or business that you do not know.
- Independently verify that the check is drawn from an actual account at a legitimate financial institution.
- Do not rely on the telephone number listed on the check. Use directory assistance to get the telephone number of the financial institution and call them to verify the check.
- When a company claims to be a “Secret Shopper,” like Master Research, check with the Mystery Shopper Provider Association at http://www.mysteryshop.org/ to learn more about Mystery Shopping and to confirm the legitimacy of a company.
- Do not rely on the money until the funds have been finally collected by your financial institution. Funds 'available’ is not good enough.
Feel free to contact BBB at 379-6222 if you have questions or concerns.