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How To Avoid A Mystery Shopping Scam?

mystery shopperWho doesn’t love to shop? The thrill of purchasing a new dress, a mobile phone, or anything you had been saving up for, is a universal emotion. However, the sight of money exchanging hands is an equally disappointing experience. It makes you wish that you could do it free.

Well… What if you could do it all for FREE?! Mystery shopping allows you to do just that! Well, as long as it is not a scam!

But, Just In Case You Are Wondering ‘What Is Mystery Shopping All About?

It is pretty simple. You, as a ‘shopper’, visit a store or a company as a regular customer and shop or show interest in buying a particular product/service. In the process, you are supposed to make mental notes of the overall experience you had, right from entering the store, speaking to the employees, understanding the product, and sometimes, even an actual purchase.

Once that part is complete, you go back and fill an online form, letting the company know about your experiences. Based on the quality of your submission, you get paid or reimbursed, depending on the nature of your gig.

How do you become a mystery shopper?

Becoming a mystery shopper is a fairly simple process – Just MAKE SURE YOU AVOID Getting into a SCAM (read below)….

  • Sign up with a mystery shopping company and share a bit of information about your interests. (This enables the company to assign the right gigs to you.)
  • Choose gigs as per your convenience, in terms of location and schedule.
  • Report your observations to the company through a simple, online form.
  • Get paid (the time taken is different for different companies).

Once you get accustomed to the ‘shopping’ process, you can sign up for more gigs and enjoy the benefits!

mystery shopper

But be VERY CAREFUL of Mystery Shopping Scams!

While mystery shopping gigs are fabulous, there is always the fear of falling victim to scams and fake companies. A lot of these scamsters try to bait people looking for gigs with high-value returns, or with false promises of immediate employment. This just results in your falling prey to a scheme, where you complete the gigs and never get paid OR worse… you may be duped of your own money, let alone getting paid.

So, how to spot a Mystery Shopping SCAM?

  • Avoid companies that ask for a fee – Scamsters will ask you to pay a ‘fee’ to sign up, to prove that you are serious about the opportunity provided. Some will also ask you to pay to gain ‘certification’ as a mystery shopper. Avoid such sites at all ‘costs’ – no pun intended ;p since resources on mystery shopping are available online for free and genuine mystery shopping companies won’t ask for a joining fee!
  • DON’T wire money to ‘test online money transfer services’ – We just said don’t pay a fee… but you may also find bogus companies often ‘hiring’ mystery shoppers to ‘evaluate’ a money transfer service. You, as a shopper would receive a check with instructions to deposit it in a personal bank account, withdraw the amount in cash, and wire it to a third party. The check is fake.
    Banks clear checks within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. So by the time you realize check is fake, you’d have wired the money already! So, you just wired your own money to the scamster and would never get paid!
  • Research, Research, Research – Before signing up, check out the website of the mystery shopping company thoroughly. If the offers sound too good to be true, avoid it.Genuine Mystery shopping sites would pay or reimburse you reasonably well. They won’t however go overboard with it. So if you see a ‘Mystery Shopping Offer You Can’t Refuse’ … you BETTER REFUSE IT!!!

To choose a genuine Mystery Shopping Company, look for companies with a good reputation in the market, and more importantly one which are associated with well-known brands – Remember goods brand won’t tie-up with shady companies!

If you are looking to start earning legitimately with a genuine mystery shopping company – redquanta is one such company. redquanta offers exciting gigs whereby you get to try global cuisines, shop for major brands, stay at world-famous hotels, and the likes.

Mystery shopping is an exciting experience that gives you the opportunity to earn while you shop. Just be careful before signing up for a gig!