Telltale Signs of a Mystery Shopping Scam to Watch Out For

scamMystery shopping is a great way to earn cash when you need the freedom of flexible hours. Many of these opportunities are found online. However, the opportunities found on the Internet are not all legitimate. Many are fake business opportunities set up to trick you out of your own money. So what are some of the telltale signs that a mystery shopping opportunity is actually a scam?

Payment Required

The first hint that an opportunity for mystery shopping is a scam is that it requires that you make a payment to receive information on mystery shopping jobs. These alleged opportunities are not actually an opportunity. Instead, they send you the information on where you can apply for opportunities and you can be guaranteed that many will not be legit.

Charge Fee for Certification

You may also discover that some mystery shopping opportunities want you to pay a fee to become a certified mystery shopper. Once your fee is paid, you should receive training materials and, once you pass a test, you will receive your certification. The problem is that this certification is not required to do actual mystery shopping jobs. It is simply a scam to take your money.

Transfer of Funds

It is also a common practice among scammers to request that you do an evaluation for the transfer of funds using a company like Western Union. They will ask you to transfer money to them and you will never hear from them again. Just remember to be wary of any company that requests you evaluate some type of money transfer.

Check Received

What about the mystery shopping opportunity that sends you a check for doing nothing but transferring that money back to them in order to evaluate this transfer system? They want you to deposit this check into your account and then wire the money back to them. This, too, is a scam as the check you receive will be a fake and may cause you a lot of financial damage.

Now that you know what could possibly be a scam in mystery shopping opportunities, what does a legitimate opportunity look like?

A legitimate mystery shopping opportunity will request that you evaluate a particular business and will usually reimburse you for the money you spend at that business. Of course, this will be only up to a certain amount. If this requires you to purchase something tangible, many allow you to keep the item. Some businesses may even pay you extra for your time.

Mystery shopping opportunities can be found in a great abundance on the Internet. As long as you do your research and steer clear of the ones that have the telltale signs of a scam, you should be able to make a little cash and even acquire some new things for yourself or your family. In fact, some of the best opportunities may even allow you to make a little cash by referring new shoppers to them. It is all a matter of finding the right opportunity.

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Sentry Marketing Group helps companies understand how their customers think.  They specialize in restaurant mystery shopping, surveys, and custom training for their clients. Visit them at 2222 W Spring Creek Parkway, Suite 114 Plano, TX 75023.

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