FTC Warns that New College Grads Should Be Wary of Mystery Shopping Offers

For Your Information

College graduates who need temporary work while looking for full-time jobs may be interested in mystery shopping, but the FTC cautions that many mystery shopping offers are scams.

It seems like an attractive proposition:  getting paid to shop or dine out, and then provide reports about the experience.  However, scammers often ask mystery shoppers to pay an up-front fee before they start, or to deposit a check that turns out to be phony.

  • Don’t pay upfront fees to be a mystery shopper.  Legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them.
  • Never agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back.  The check will bounce, and you will owe your bank the money you withdrew.

To learn more, go to Mystery Shopping Scams May Target New College Grads.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FYI college mystery shop scams)

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