What is a mystery shopper?
It may start with a phone text message or email like this: “Hiring in your area! Mystery Shoppers needed. Make up to $50.00 an hour call 1888-xxx-xxxx”
Mystery shopper companies conduct surveys and evaluate other companies. They hire people to go shopping at particular stores (these stores usually have requested their services already for whatever reason) and share their shopping experience. That sounds all good, to begin with.
A mystery shopper’s job it to act like a customer and find out how the staffs are handling their customers and services. Once you are approved as a mystery shopper, you receive a notice about a job in your area where you would purchase products(free products…all costs reimbursed). Then, all you do is shop there for that product(s), write a comment and/or fill out a question and answer form about your experience. Then mail it in and wait to be paid. The pay is supposed to be worthwhile, however, in my experiences, it hardly covers the expenses in doing the job. Often times for me, I was notified prior to the job about the pay and location. However, I usually found it was too far away to consider and/or barely covered the expenses; certainly not $50.00 an hour.
Here is another way it might work?
After researching this recently, I have discovered this update on how it is now done.
- After they receive your information, you will receive another email with your instructions and a USPS tracking number. In this email, you will be given instructions. The instructions are listed below.
- You then will receive by mail a money order for a large amount of money. This is normally several thousand dollars. The money order looks legit. Per instructions, you are to cash this at your bank, subtract your payment ($200-$300) and then proceed to Walmart and spend $20 on any item you want.
- Now you fill out a survey about your experience at Walmart. This is where the scammer is trying to gain your trust. Their goal is to make this secret shopping scam seem real so that you don’t expect anything.
- Your next assignment is to either send the money to another secret shopper or secret shop by the Western Union. You are to send the remainder of your balance to the person listed in your instruction email. Once the money is sent, you are to take note of how the service was and send them back an email letting them know your survey results as well as the transaction number.
- A few days later, or even a week later, your bank rejects the money order since they realize it is a fake and the funds are removed from your account. – Source 708media.com
What are the complaints?
Although my experience with Mystery Shopping years ago was not beneficial, it did pay for services. From researching the opportunity, I found much bigger complaints (and there are much more if you just google “mystery shopper complaints”) indicating that these are real scams, and you need to be aware of the signs of these as indicated in their comments below.
I like so many others answered an offer to do secret shopping. I was sent a registered mail package with a $1400+ cashiers check. I was told to evaluate WalMart but only after depositing the check in my checking account. I felt very uneasy about this job, and emailed them and told them that I decline the job. I got a terse email reply saying it was required of me. I again emailed them saying that I was declining the job and I would not be cashing the check. Again I got a terse email saying the job was required. The final email I sent them indicated that my attorney has advised me to look for secret shopper jobs that don’t involve money laundering. I have heard nothing else from them since. That right there confirms my suspicions. IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT LIKELY IS
Jan. 2, 2017on
I received a check telling me to deposit in my bank and then cash it and wire the funds to someone in Texas. The envelope came from Tyson ** in Philadelphia but the letter said to wire from Walmart to Jason ** in Galveston Texas but the check was supposedly drawn from David ** account. As a previous victim do not fall for this. You will end up paying thousands back.
Dec. 20, 2016on
I received a letter in the mail with a check for 3992.50. There are two things that I am supposed to do: 1. I was to shop at Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, Winners, and Best Buy. 2. Transfer money by the Western Union for the amount of 3,162.50. Once I did this I was to fill out a form and send it by fax to 470-335-1804. It kept saying that I needed to talk to the Coordinator; which in itself is a big caution signal to me. I worked retail for many years and I know that companies are out there to do Mystery Shopping, but this one is sending up warning signs to me!
On the envelope it has a return address from: Sanford Bell and Associates, Inc in Montgomery, Al and on the check it has MSM Morton Scrap Metal, Inc which are both real businesses, but when contacting Consumer Survey Specialist it brought up a lot of complaints. All were very similar to mine and that made me very skeptical of going through with the assignment.
Oct. 13, 2016on
There’s still hope for those wanting to work at home and make money!
Although some mystery shopper jobs may actually pay for services (as did mine) it does not appear to be worth the risk. My experience lasted for just a few short weeks, even though I have been contacted about a new assignment just recently, but did not accept it.
If you have tried to make money at home before, only to have found another way to lose you money and become even more skeptic of online scams, then I encourage you to stay tuned. With all the online scams these days, there still is hope for people who want to make a living at home online.
I would like to invite you to take a serious look at Wealthy Affiliates. One of our goals here at Wealthy Affiliate is to promote our community of online entrepreneurs, but also make people aware of some of the scams that we have personally experienced ourselves. However, our main intent is to help you reach your goal of earning a living online. If you are tired of searching and trying again and again, then I encourage you to look at this! We are a worldwide community of affiliate marketers learning, working and sharing together helping each other build dream businesses from home online, where you can work from anywhere. You will never believe what you have been missing all of these years until you step foot inside…
I pray that you too would find hope in what we have to offer.
P.S. I welcome any helpful comments or experiences you may wish to share relating to this blog.