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Author Topic: Secret Shopper Scams: How to tell real from fake offers?  (Read 4577 times)

mouser

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Secret Shopper Scams: How to tell real from fake offers?
« on: September 16, 2006, 01:00:26 AM »
This page contains a detailed description of "Secret Shopper" scams.

http://www.snopes.co...ployment/shopper.asp

It's quite fun reading, and at the ends sums up with a long list of "How to Avoid Falling Victim to 'Secret Shopper' Scams: "

Hey is it just me, or isn't the easiest way to avoid falling victim to this to realize that no one is going to pay you tons of money to go shopping.

allen

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Re: Secret Shopper Scams: How to tell real from fake offers?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2006, 09:44:31 AM »
Hey is it just me, or isn't the easiest way to avoid falling victim to this to realize that no one is going to pay you tons of money to go shopping.

There -are- real secret shopper programs, but they're typically actual businesses--with buildings and local offices.  A borderless Internet based one would be a really idea if it worked -- perhaps hope that it's real is what causes people to jump into things without researching/thinking.

The fact that spam itself is a lucrative business is no small hint that there are a lot of really ignorant, even stupid, people out there.  Secret shopper scams at least attempt to appear legit.

app103

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Re: Secret Shopper Scams: How to tell real from fake offers?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2006, 10:06:51 AM »
Actually companies do pay you to shop...and some pay quite well.

Supermarkets will hire secret shoppers (mostly existing store customers) to test their cashiers. I know...I was a victim of one many years ago and was reprimanded for not checking under the cart for hidden items when a secret shopper snuck stuff past me.

I have also been a "secret shopper" for a company I worked for. It was my job turn in a once a year report on the competition down the street. I had to include the prices for everything they had that matched items we sold, that were in my department. The way most would perform this job would be to run down the street and collect a few each day, on their lunch break, till the full list was finished. Then they collected a $50 bonus when they turned in the book.

Fortunately for me I was friends with the manager down the street and was able to do the entire store on my day off, bringing a huge binder filled with our store's inventory/price list...not just the stuff for my department. It was an easy $300 in my pocket since my boss had me on the clock the whole time, plus I got the turn-in bonuses for every department.

The ones you see online that ask you for money and promise you'll make money are all scams.

The ones that will give you some money in cash or a gift certificate to spend, or an item to return for a refund, up front, and more when you complete the job...those are usually safe. You are usually told to keep what you purchased, or keep the refund you received, in addition to the amount you receive as pay.

But you are not going to get rich doing this, and you can't make a career out of it. The shopping jobs are few & far between and the competition for them is fierce.

And many stores select from customers that happen to be in the right place at the right time to do their secret shopping. So if the store manager approaches you in the back of Walmart with a shopping cart full of stuff and ask you if you'd do him a favor and go stand in line with it, and hands you a gift certificate...go for it!


housetier

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Re: Secret Shopper Scams: How to tell real from fake offers?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2006, 01:43:33 PM »
I remember Garfield cartoon:

Garfield is watching TV and of course they show commercials. The ad says "We guarantee this: when you buy our products, we make more money than you!" Garfield then thinks something like "refreshingly honest"

 ;D :D ;D :P

OldElmerFudd

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Re: Secret Shopper Scams: How to tell real from fake offers?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2006, 06:45:43 PM »
OEF sez:
Ha! I wish Bite-sized trouble was a secret shopper. She's always leaving her credit card statements for me to find, 'cuz she knows I'll pay 'em!

I've done some "comparision shopping" for my company, but it's really all about scoping the competition. We send underage test shoppers to our own retail stores to see if our employees make sales without proper ID. It's very rarely a problem; we've got good people.

 :Thmbsup:
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