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View Full Version : Anyone know anything about being a Secret Shopper? Is it a scam?



Joshzilla
09-21-2005, 09:00 AM
Someone I know just got "hired" to be a secret shopper. They found her resume on an online job-finder site (monster or something I think). Anyway, she met their requirements and she had a phone call interview and was told she could make up to $600 a week. Well, they sent her a package and I expected employment forms, but there was none of that. She said it's got a check and she's supposed to use a cashier's check they sent to go and send a money order to this fictional person that is supposed to be her uncle (used her last name and just added a man's first name). Well, they called her every day til she got her package. All this makes me very uncomfortable. On top of that, they are based in Canada which would make suing them difficult I would imagine since they would apply to a different set of trade laws. If you guys have heard anything, help me out. It's like $2500 money order she's supposed to send. Seems a bit steep, but I dunno.

SteveZegers
09-21-2005, 09:02 AM
I know it's a real thing, we used to get them in the store all the time when I worked in the mall. This sounds a little sketchy to me though...

Cth
09-21-2005, 09:02 AM
It's not a scam, we used to get them all the time at CompUSA.

I registered for one once, and I got to visit restaurants in my area and order $30-50 worth of food and get reimbursed.

Jack in the Box has something on their site about it as well.

Lots of places do it, so it is legit.

But what you described, doesn't sound good. You shouldn't be required to send any money AT ALL.

The coordinator will call often to make sure you're going to that place at the time you're scheduled, but past that, I dunno what to make of the money thing.

Check google/better business bureau/etc for info on the person. If they have a website, check their info at the registry for contact info.

Absola
09-21-2005, 09:04 AM
this definately sounds like a scam. most secret shopper programs have people actually going to stores to purchase items and the rate the experience. most will either give the shopper gift certificates or reimburse them for their time and money.

she should also call the bank the check was issued from to verify that it is legit.

Alex K.
09-21-2005, 09:04 AM
Secret shoppers are a real thing, usually companies will contract out to PI firms to have someone go into their stores posing as customers and test the employees for specific things.

However the particular case you described sounds kind of sketchy. I've never worked as one myself so for all I know that could be normal, but it doesn't sounds like it.

alexlannin
09-21-2005, 09:07 AM
I know there are secret shoppers, but that doesn't sound like how you become one.

Opus Croakus
09-21-2005, 09:13 AM
Could be a check cashing scam. That's where somebody takes a cashiers check and changes the amount (so a $25.00 check looks like a $2,500 check, for example). They have you cash it for them, and the bank teller gives you the larger sum. But the check eventually gets back to its source and turns out to be worth the lower amount, so the difference is deducted from your account. You lose.

Generic Poster
09-21-2005, 09:18 AM
Secret shoppers are real.

What you describe is a scam.

Kensington
09-21-2005, 09:25 AM
In Summer 2004 I was strong-armed by a temp agency into doing secret shopper evaluations of two car dealerships in north suburban Chicago. I didn't want to take the assignment, but the agency made it a condition for giving me the more lucrative assignment they dangled before me.

I was so irritated by this that I walked right into the dealerships, grabbed the first sales guy in sight, told him I was a secret shopper and made a deal. I said "you help me get out of here as quickly as possible, and I'll let you dictate the survey questions to give you the best possible evaluation."

At both dealerships, the salesmen leapt at the opportunity. In one case, the guy even grabbed the dealership manager to participate. I was out the door, mission "accomplished" in approximately ten minutes each time.

Joshzilla
09-21-2005, 09:31 AM
Thanks guys, all the things you've said are what I've been thinking. The fact that it's a cashier's check for $2,830 ($2,500 to send to "uncle", $130 for money order processing, then $200 profit for her) sounds just too high.

She just brought the packet they sent to her so I could look at it, and it does include an evaluation form for her to complete on the "shopping" experience, plus a timesheet for her to send in. They never ask for her social security number, so I am just baffled.

Don't want her to pass it up if it's legit, but don't want her getting screwed either.

Kensington
09-21-2005, 09:35 AM
Thanks guys, all the things you've said are what I've been thinking. The fact that it's a cashier's check for $2,830 ($2,500 to send to "uncle", $130 for money order processing, then $200 profit for her) sounds just too high.

She just brought the packet they sent to her so I could look at it, and it does include an evaluation form for her to complete on the "shopping" experience, plus a timesheet for her to send in. They never ask for her social security number, so I am just baffled.

Don't want her to pass it up if it's legit, but don't want her getting screwed either.I just re-read your original posting. There's no way in Hell that's legit. No way. :no:

Cth
09-21-2005, 09:48 AM
I wonder if there's fingerprints on the check that police could check for :)

xyzzy
09-21-2005, 09:52 AM
In Summer 2004 I was strong-armed by a temp agency into doing secret shopper evaluations of two car dealerships in north suburban Chicago. I didn't want to take the assignment, but the agency made it a condition for giving me the more lucrative assignment they dangled before me.

I was so irritated by this that I walked right into the dealerships, grabbed the first sales guy in sight, told him I was a secret shopper and made a deal. I said "you help me get out of here as quickly as possible, and I'll let you dictate the survey questions to give you the best possible evaluation."

At both dealerships, the salesmen leapt at the opportunity. In one case, the guy even grabbed the dealership manager to participate. I was out the door, mission "accomplished" in approximately ten minutes each time.

That seems more than a little unethical to me. If you're going to do a job, you should do it right. Otherwise, don't do it at all.

Kensington
09-21-2005, 09:59 AM
That seems more than a little unethical to me. If you're going to do a job, you should do it right. Otherwise, don't do it at all.I agree; of course, I'd never had a temp agency play keep away with a job before, and it really pissed me off. That may have been how I rationalized it. Can't say I've lost any sleep over it, either. Still, it's not one for Great Moments in Ethical Behavior, I'll grant you... :Oops:

joespam
09-21-2005, 11:59 AM
You could take the packet to you local police/postmaster and have them review it for you to be sure, but I'd agree that it's likely a scam.

DrMachine
09-21-2005, 12:13 PM
that is such a scam, I can't believe they expected it to work