Just the other day I got an email from a company offering me money to be a “mystery shopper.” I would shop at some of my favorite stores, give this company feedback about their service, and get to keep what I bought.
It sounded so good, I almost signed up. I really don’t know what I was thinking. Thankfully, I came to my senses after reading that I needed to apply for credit and submit personal information in order to participate.
I still don’t know if this was a legitimate email or not since there are real companies that actually pay for “mystery shopping,” but I am glad I didn’t take the chance. After doing some research on the FBI website I discovered that stay-at-home job scams are popular right now and this “mystery shopper” email was one that was specifically mentioned.
It makes sense when you think about it. As our unemployment rate rises, so does the threat of scams targeting job seekers. The Better Business Bureau reports that criminals are just waiting to prey on the desperation of people facing desperate financial times.
In order to be safe, if you are job hunting online, in the newspaper, or elsewhere, the BBB recommends that you never, ever pay money up front to be considered for a job. Also, you should be extremely cautious when responding to unsolicited e-mails from supposed employers – even if the company name is well known – and do not click on any links in the e-mail until having done plenty of research. For more BBB job hunting tips, click here.