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There has been a lot of talk recently about a particular brand of secret shopping scam and how it has cheated a number of people. This has shown many aspects of anonymous shopping in a bad light. For businesses that have not tried anonymous shopping before and do not really know what it is about, these scams could make them think twice about taking the plunge. Before making any decisions, it is important to understand more about these scams and how they affect you.
Look Before You Shop
The first thing to bear in mind is that a secret shopping scam will mostly be aimed at the shopper. These are the kinds of scams that have come to light recently and they all follow the same routine. An unsuspecting person will answer a call for freelance anonymous shoppers – they then are given, among other training material, a check for a few thousand dollars. The shopper must wire this money to an address in Canada. Unfortunately, the check is fake – which means that the unsuspecting shopper will be liable for it.
The reason why so many people fall for this secret shopping scam is because it looks very legitimate. The training documents are professionally done and the check also seems to come from a real financial institution. Apart from that, a toll-free number is usually provided, in case the shopper has any questions. While it is true that the majority of anonymous shopping scams do hit the shopper, which does not mean that potential anonymous shopping clients are not at risk, as well. Before you even contact as anonymous shopping service, it is important to check out a few things to make sure the service is legitimate.
Keep Your Eyes Open
There are numerous well-established and reputed anonymous shopping services out there. There are also a number of things that these well-respected services simply will not do. First of all, they will not advertise their services in the classified or help wanted section of any newspaper. They will also not advertise for shoppers on the radio. Secondly, a anonymous shopping service will never charge their shoppers a fee – ideally, a shopper will be trained for the job. This means that apart from their reimbursement, they will also be paid a fee for their services. Any anonymous shopping company that does not do this will probably spell bad news for the people who hire them, as well. It also pays to be wary of any anonymous shopping service that is situated outside the country. Remember that you will need to keep in touch with a real person to develop your shopping strategy and do follow ups.
Another thing that many people do not know is that there is an association called the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. Any legitimate anonymous shopping company should be listed here and have a good track record, as well. It is also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau. While the internet has certainly made creating a anonymous shopping scam much easier, it can also work in your favor. For example, a good anonymous shopping provider will also have up to date online technology. This should include secure remote access – you should be able to access your data whenever you need to. If the service can not provide that, then start looking elsewhere. The truth is that an anonymous shopping scam can hit both the shopper and the business who hired them.
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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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