Before purchasing that mystery shopper kit, think twice about your spending
"Get Paid to Do What You Love!" "Make Money Shopping!" "Get Paid Eating out! You will find these types of ads popping up all over the internet. They are filled with unbelievable claims and true testimonials - or so they say. These services will tell you about an amazing story of a lucky stay at home mom who makes $10,000 a month from doing what women love to do - shopping. How about that fortunate guy who was able to actually retire from his factory job after a few short months of being a mystery shopper. Sound good? Of course it does. After scrolling through the web page you reach the bottom and notice further details - "For a one-time fee of only $29.95, you too can receive the mystery shopper kit and be well on your way to financial freedom!"
An offer this tempting is
hard to refuse. For a mere $29.95, there's
no way this could be a scam, right? Let's
The reality of mystery shopping scams
After responding to the
advertisement, more than likely you will receive an outdated package that gives
access to a terribly designed website that is rather difficult to navigate
through. From there you may be directed
to other sites offering even more lucrative mystery shopper jobs. Frustrated with the service, you look for a
way to opt out and find that there is no customer service team or refund
policy. If you are able to find contact
information, there is a great chance that no one will even reply to your emails
or phone calls. By now, you come to
realize that you've been victimized by the infamous mystery shopper scam.
Mystery shopper red flags
Just like any
work-at-home or home-based business opportunity, you should remain cautious of
any service asking that you pay money up front to become a mystery
shopper. Very few legitimate services
will require you to pay such a fee or purchase a kit to get started. Mystery shopper scams prey on an individual's
greed and desire to get rich by doing as little physical work as possible,
common elements of human nature. They
also frequently exploit stay at home spouses who have a need to make
contributions to family income.
Mystery shopper scams can be detected by observing numerous red flags. One is the obvious guarantee that an individual will make a substantial amount of income in "X" amount of time. No legitimate company will ever make such a claim. In fact, it is very unlikely that mystery shopping will ever provide tremendous wealth for anyone. This is essentially a low paying job that should be viewed more as a hobby, or part-time gig rather than a career move. While there are a few perks and benefits, mystery shopping should never be used as a vehicle to the promise land.
By doing a bit of research, you can actually find legitimate paying jobs as a mystery shopper. As stated above, this is not something likely to retire you from work, but it does have the potential to bring in extra income for something you find enjoyable. If the shoe fits, what could be better than that?