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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Finding right shopping job can take time

Beware of scams, be sure detailed work suits you
By Betty Lin-Fisher
Beacon Journal business writer
Mystery shopping has... for lack of a better word... a mysterious glamour attached to it.If you love to shop, why wouldn't you want to get paid to shop?Mystery shopping is a legitimate industry that retailers use to get independent third-party evaluations of their stores and products.
But the allure of mystery shopping also means there are scam artists trying to capitalize on people's desires to be a mystery shopper.If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,'' said Chuck Paul, a board member of the industry trade group Mystery Shopping Providers Association. ``If you're having to pay to become a shopper, that's a red flag.
Many of the scams will ask potential shoppers to send money to become a shopper. In return, the shopper receives a list of mystery shopping firms or jobs that are already posted by legitimate mystery shopping firms -- something people can look up on their own.
A current scam involves letters to consumers offering a mystery shopping job -- with legitimate retailer and mystery shopping firm names hijacked -- and accompanied by a check for several thousand dollars. The person is told to deposit the check, keep several hundred dollars and wire the rest somewhere.
This scam is not unlike other fake-check scams. The check will bounce and you'll be left in hot water.There are plenty of legitimate mystery shopping opportunities -- you just need to do some homework -- and be the right type of person who enjoys the detailed work involved. Read Full article

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