First off, I send my resume to an ad for a front desk job and received and email back from Trendsource about secret shopping. I thought that was a little weird but then reasoned that maybe they were looking for someone with a certain skill set and used that ad to pick them. But I decided to do some research on the company first just to make sure it was legit and everything I found on the company looked ok. So I filled out a short questionnaire and they emailed me back saying I will be send my first assignment soon.
I received an email today telling me that a check will be mailed and I am to send a money order to another shopper and rate the Western Union Money order system. Now all the bells are ringing because that was the biggest scam that I came across during my research. But I was confused because I thought this company was reputable. Now looking at the email, the email address says "firstname.lastname@example.org". Wow so I'm guessing this person obviously attached themselves to the company name to scam me. What do I do now??
I agree with audrialyn. This is most definitely a scam. If a company that you have not applied with contacts you and offers you money to perform a job, it's probably a scam. Companies want you to apply on their website. They want your personal contact information and your SS#. Legitimate companies do NOT ask you to send your personal information to them in an e-mail. They do NOT pay in advance. They want you to sign a confidentiality agreement before they will disclose their clients or offer you jobs. Anything using Western Union to send money is a big-time scam.
See the blue link at the bottom of this page, Official List of Mystery Shopping Companies for a great list of reliable and legitimate mystery shopping companies to apply with if you want to mystery shop.
I'm guessing the ad your responded to was on Craigslist. They don't vet those ads and it is really common for scam artists to post under office and administrative jobs.
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