The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers the following advice on secret shopping:
– If you find yourself on a website asking you to pay for a certification to become a mystery shopper or guarantees you a job, abandon the website.
– It is not necessary to pay to become a mystery shopper. The certification offered is almost always worthless. If you try to get a refund from the promoters, you will be out of luck. Either the business won’t return your phone calls, or if it does, it’s to try another pitch.
– Another tactic involves “evaluating” a money transfer service. A check is sent to you. You are told to cash the check and then wire the money to a third party. While banks must provide you with funds within days, the check may not clear for several weeks. When it comes back, you are responsible for the money you wired.
Bottom line: If an opportunity is on the up and up, you won’t have to pay an application fee or deposit a check and wire money on to someone else.
Contact the BBB at 806-379-6222 or www.bbb.org/amarillo to report a scam or for additional information.