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What the FTC Says About Mystery Shopping

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported on the potentially nefarious industry of mystery shopping in a “consumer alert” entitled, “ The Secrets of Mystery Shopping…Revealed.”

It describes the basic gist of mystery shopping and “warns” that people who love to shop may be tempted to succumb to e-mails or ads claiming they can make money doing what they love in very little spare time. (Which is true!)

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

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The alert goes on to describe a number of different scams common in the mystery shopping industry:

  • Some companies will require users to register for a site to “qualify” for a mystery shopping gig then pay a fee for to participate in a certification or training program to prepare for the jobs.
  • Others may guarantee work as a mystery shopper
  • Still others will try to sell a guide to companies who may offer mystery shopping jobs.

These warnings are helpful to have out there; with unemployment still running rampant throughout the United States and consumer debt still highly prevalent, the lure of “easy money” can make people quite susceptible to scams of all kinds, even if they seem ridiculous when you take a step back.

Consumer alerts like this can help weed out the bad and make room for reputable companies like MeasureCP to help other businesses ensure high quality service and performance through credible mystery shopping.

We’ll never pull a scam like the shady companies mentioned. MeasureCP is a member of both the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and Better Business Bureau, which provides a safeguard for our shoppers. Our clients include retail stores, restaurants, financial service providers, and companies in the housing and healthcare industries.

We’ll never make potential mystery shoppers pay to register for our site or get certified to do shops; as long as you can follow instructions and provide detailed reports of your experiences in a timely manner, that’s certification enough. We’re looking for honesty and reliability.

Interested in being a shopper with MeasureCP? You can sign up using this online form.

In the meantime, if you suspect you’ve been the victim of a fraudulent mystery shopping scheme, you should contact the FTC at (877) FTC-HELP or submit an online complaint.

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