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While anonymous shopping has certainly helped a number of businesses, many have also become apprehensive after the scam has surfaced. The truth is that there are a number of different scams associated with undercover shopping. The bad news is that with the advent of the internet, the number of scams is actually on the rise. In many cases, a well-crafted website is often enough to con people into thinking that they are working with a legitimate covert shopping company. It is important to learn how to identify these scams and understand how they operate.
Who Is At Risk
The truth is that contracted shoppers are the most at-risk. When businesses look for covert shopping services, there are usually tell-tale signs that can help you spot a shady set-up. But with contractual shoppers, things are a little different. Many people who are looking for freelance jobs tend to look through websites and advertisements for shopping assignments. This is also how many of them get conned into a shopping scam. They will either come across an advertisement or receive an email stating that an assignment is available.
This secret shopping center scam assignment will usually consist of asking the shopper to cash a check. Along with the check, they are often sent a training package and a phone number that they can call if they have any questions. These are all done in order to make the job look legitimate. The problem is that the check is a bad one – this means that after the money is wired, the shopper will be held liable for the bad check from the bank. Anyone who comes across these kinds of offers is advised to report them to the Better Business Bureau.
What Else Do You Need To Know
There are other ways to spot a scam. First of all, a legitimate covert shopping company would never advertise in the paper or on the radio. They also do not send out unsolicited emails. It is also a good idea to be wary about any services that charge a fee to join as a shopper or to access shopping directories offering these types of assignments. Avoid any anonymous shopping service that sells any kind of certification or guarantees steady work – undercover shopping assignments are always sporadic. A spy shopping service should also pay their shoppers a fee over and above the reimbursement amount.
You can also avoid any secret shopping center scam by knowing what legitimate companies and sites are like. For instance, a good company will be listed with the industry association of undercover shopping service providers. Do research on the different companies that you find – asking others about their experiences with these companies is always a good idea. From a business perspective, it is always a good idea to work with companies that have experience in your particular field. It is also a good idea to see what their policies are concerning hiring shoppers on a contractual basis.
While the majority of the scam operators do seem to be targeting the shopper, businesses also need to keep an eye open for scams. As more and more people recognize how effective covert shopping services can be, there will also be more people who try and scam others with it. Whether you are a business or a freelance shopper, it is important to be vigilant and identify any scam.
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Disclamer: This entry is intended to promote our partner StorageMart and some or all participants received compensation.
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