Shady Business: Mystery Shopper Ads

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 10:58am

One of the latest scams going around in the Valley deals with the mystery shopper ads shown in various media outlets, Marty Watson talked with a representative from the Better Business Bureau about how to spot this scam.

Mystery shoppers, you may have seen these ads in the paper, in your email, or even on TV, the ads say that they'll give you big bucks for shopping at certain stores and then participating in a survey or something similar afterwards.

Dolores Salinas, President of BBB South Texas, "It sounds like an easy thing to do and it sounds like that's something I'd love to do, I love to shop, so I can go and shop and report back to a company my experiences."

This is where the scam comes in, Marty Watson, "Shoppers beware, if you see a local mystery shoppers ad in the paper or on TV, it could be coming from a bogus organization, but a good way to check if it's a legitimate company is by seeing if it's accredited with the Better Business Bureau."

These bogus or illegitimate companies will give you a false check with a certain amount on it after you've participated in the shopping scam. When the check reaches the bank it bounces and the debt will fall back on you, Dolores Salinas, "Be aware that you may fall into a trap there and that you check them out fully before participating."

There are some people that just can't get enough of that retail therapy and Salinas offers options to those people who do want to participate in legitimate mystery shopper ads, "What we recommend is that if you really want to do mystery shopping, try to find somewhere locally that you can deal face to face rather than online or other ways because that way if there is a problem  you can deal with it face to face with the company."

Salinas reminded us that not all of the mystery shopper ads are scams, but it never hurts to check if a company is accredited with the bureau.

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