“Make Money Eating Out!” “Get Paid to Shop!” “Get Rich Without Effort!” These ads pop-up and blink all over the Internet, full of fantastic claims and “true” stories. They will tell you about the woman who makes $10,000 a month—just for shopping. This man retired a millionaire after a short time as a mystery shopper. Sounds great. Then you read the fine print. Just send in $29 for the mystery shopper kit, and you, too, will be on your way to riches in this lucrative field! “Well,” you say, “$29 is such a small amount of money, it can’t be a scam.”
If you respond to such an ad, you are likely to receive outdated information and access to a poorly designed, difficult to navigate website. You will likely be redirected to other places to find out about mystery shopper jobs available. There will be no customer service and no refunds. Chances are, no one will ever even respond to your phone calls or emails. You have been the victim of a mystery shopper scam.
As in any other home business or work-at-home venture, you should beware of anyone asking for money to help you become a mystery shopper. No legitimate shopper opportunity will require you to pay a fee or buy a kit. The mystery shopper scam preys on our desire to get rich quick. It also exploits a stay-at-home mom’s need to contribute to the family’s income.
Another red flag that you might be facing a mystery shopper scam is promises of riches. No one should promise that you could get wealthy being a mystery shopper. Mystery shopping itself will not make you rich. It is a very low-paying job. It is actually better to think of it as a hobby with perks, especially in the beginning.
With careful research, it is possible to find paying jobs as a mystery shopper. While it probably will not make you rich, you just might make some extra money doing something you enjoy. What could be better?
Visit Mystery Shopping Providers Association for more information and job listings.