Before you sign on with a mystery shopping company, do your homework first. You can check out a company’s record by visiting the Better Business Bureau online. There you will see whether the company is a member of this organization and whether any complaints have been made against it. In addition, you will find out whether the company responded to the complaints and whether they were resolved in a satisfactory manner.
Another red flag to beware of when it comes to mystery shopping is when you have trouble finding an address and other contact information for the company. A legitimate company will list this on its website and on any printed materials it provides.
Keep in mind that a legitimate organization wants to gets its name out so that it can build a brand. If you can’t find out the company’s name and contact information easily, then move on to another one.
Your Social Security Number and banking information are private and you shouldn’t reveal this information unless you know something about the company and you initiated the contact. If you do decide to share this information online, make sure that you are doing so over a secure server. The url for the page will start with “https://…” instead of “http://www…”
A legitimate employer will not charge you to work for them. You shouldn’t have to pay a fee to register, for training, or to get certified. Certification programs are offered for people who want to work as mystery shoppers, but you do not need to complete one before a company will hire you.
Any company that guarantees you a job is one that you should avoid. A legitimate mystery shopping company will allow you to register and set up a profile. Once an assignment comes up that matches your profile, you will be notified. If the mystery shopping company can’t predict in advance what kinds of shoppers its clients will need, how can it guarantee you a job?
You can find legitimate mystery shopping opportunities listed on the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website. MPSA members are legitimate mystery shopping companies and you can contact them directly to find out more about registering for assignments in your area.