ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Everyday consumers risk getting scammed in one way or another. Thieves know how to catch people when their guard is down.
Consumer protection advocates like the BB, the Federal Trade Commission and the attorney general’s office say be wary if you`re asked to wire money to someone you don`t know.
And that's possible with mystery shopping. The idea of getting paid to shop is hard to resist. After all you just describe your experience to what appears to be a legitimate research company. You get a check and deposit it into your personal account. It’s to cover purchases and your wages. Then you wire a big chunk of that money to an unknown out of town recipient via money gram or Western Union.
Unfortunately your bank holds you responsible for money withdrawn for the wire transfer which is hard to trace.
From what I’ve been able to determine the best way to get into a legitimate secret shopping program is to contact retailers and inquire how that company handles shopping research. You can't be too sure of the email or phone solicitors who claim to offer easy opportunities to make money.