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What mystery shopping companies are safe?

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There are hundreds of legitimate mystery shopping companies. One sign that the company is safe to work for is that they are a member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.

Legitimate mystery shopping companies will not charge you a fee to apply. Do not pay.  You should always search about them in Google to find if their shoppers are getting paid every month or so it is enough to know if it is legit or fake.

The biggest warning is that no mystery shopping company will ever send you a check for thousands of dollars and ask you to cash it and wire money somewhere. That is ALWAYS a scam. Always. Some of these scammers use the names of real mystery shopping companies or other legitimate companies, but they are not associated with them in any way.

If you receive an email out of the blue saying you have been selected as a mystery shopper, it is probably a scam. Real mystery shopping companies do not sent spam emails to solicit shoppers. (First hint that the email is a scam: Their email address is at Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, never at the domain of the company they claim to represent. Second hint: The spelling and grammar are atrocious. Third: They are offering you hundreds of dollars for a couple of hours of work.)

Apply only to legitimate companies (such as those that belong to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association), never pay a fee to apply, and never wire money as part of a "mystery shop."
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