Not sure if this is a scam or a legit project

I received this email a few months back and replied to it but no response then a few weeks ago I got it again. I replied and got a response this time. I'm not sure if it is a scam or legit. Has anyone done this project or gotten this email? Not sure who the client is (I assumed the cable company so I removed that but it may be Slingbox?). Let me know and I'll remove the name if that is the case.

"We are looking for shoppers in the [city] CA area who have [name of cable company] with an HD enabled cable box and high speed internet. We are not looking for shoppers with any other cable provider at this time.

ComScore will provide you with a Slingbox and the cables needed to connect it to your TV. The Slingbox uses a wireless connection to connect to your Wi-Fi.

The Slingbox allows comScore to connect to your TV’s cable menu, and control it, over the Internet. When we need access to your TV to monitor programing the channel will change to On Demand and you will see comScore access your On Demand menus. While we are monitoring you will not be able to watch your TV. For this reason, we prefer a household with more than one TV. We typically check Tuesday and Friday mornings, but also occasionally need to log in at other times.

You would set up a Slingbox account and provide comScore with the login username and password, and give us permission to access your TV.

After setting the Slingbox up, very little is typically required of the shopper unless we need you to help us troubleshoot connectivity issues.

This is an ongoing project that will last at least 3 months, but could be long-term. We’ve had other shoppers helping us with this project for several years.

The monthly compensation is $50.00 reimbursement for your cable and $25.00 payment for your time and efforts. We pay by check or ACH payment the following month.

If you qualify and are interested please respond to this e-mail with your first and last name, zip code and a number at which to reach you. No phone calls, please.

Due to the volume of responses if you don’t hear back from a scheduler the shop has already been assigned elsewhere.

If you no longer wish to receive e-mails regarding our mystery shops, please respond to this e-mail and include your name and e-mail address. It will take 24 hours for the deactivation to take place."




After I replied, I was told they would send me the details in a few weeks. So today I got the instructions today.




"We will need a screenshot of your internet speed before sending out the Slingbox. Please go to [www.speedtest.net] to obtain your internet speed and take a screenshot and send it in reply to this email.

ComScore (formerly Rentrak) is a media measurement company, and movie studios hire us to mystery shop their product. This specific project uses a set-top-box called a Slingbox, which we provide, to connect to your TV over the internet so we can check your cable menus to verify the studios’ content is available and accurately posted.

The Slingbox allows us to connect to your TV, and control it, over the Internet.

You will set up a Slingbox account and provide comScore with the login username and password, and give us permission to access your TV anytime.

We typically only do our monitoring on weekdays and between 6am-4pm PST.

We occasionally have to check for titles on weekends or holidays, but this is rare, and we will provide advance notice letting you know to expect this activity.

When we are monitoring your cable menu, if you are watching TV, you will see the channel change and access your On Demand menus and you will not be able to access your TV.

We try to put the TV back on the channel we found it and leave it off or on, depending how we found it.

Please let everyone else in your household know that comScore will be monitoring your TV, and to please not fight us over the channel as we need to be able to complete our work.

The compensation for hosting a Slingbox is $50 reimbursement toward your monthly cable bill plus $25 for your time and effort for a total of $75 month. Checks or ACH are the options for payment. You will need to scan and email your cable bill in each month as documentation for payment. Before the first payment is issued you will need to fill out and send back a W9 form.

After setting the Slingbox up, very little is typically required of you unless we need you to help us troubleshoot connectivity issues.

This is an ongoing project that will last at least 3 months, but could be long-term. We’ve had other shoppers helping us with this project for several years.

Does this sound like a project you would be interested in doing?

If YES, I will email you a Hosting Agreement (pdf). It’s a formality, which states that you agree to let us access your TV menus via the comScore-supplied Slingbox. After you’ve had a chance to read through the agreement, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. If not, please sign it and scan and email it back to me. Once we receive your signed Hosting Agreement, we will send out the Slingbox for you to set up."



Thank you for reading this long post and any suggestions or insights are appreciated.

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The email does not match what ComScore and RenTrak show on their website. I recommend checking the email address and any links in the email against their websites:

[ms.rentrak.com]
[www.comscore.com]

If you have questions, email them through the Contact Us link on their website.

The email itself raises a couple red flags:
First, cable providers update listings in real time and they are available online. It would not be necessary to pay shoppers for access to their cable accounts to get this information.
Second, a Sling box is a device used to stream content from your television to another device. Allowing the device to access your on-demand channels means the device could be used to remotely order on-demand programming and stream it to a device outside your home. Your cable box has already decrypted the feed, so it can be recorded on the receiving end and used to produce bootleg copies.

I worked in customer care for a cable television provider. This type of set-up could cost your thousands in Pay-Per-View fees. You would be liable for those charges if you allow a third party access to your cable box. "give us permission to access your TV anytime." means they would need your cable password. You would likely be unaware of any charges until you received your next bill, and by that time, they could have downloaded 100's of paid programs from your cable account.
Not a techie here but if they need to connect through your wifi doesn't that open your home network/computer to them as well? Sounds dangerous to me.

sestrahelena
I agree with what TroyHawkins says. I would check this out through the "contact us" link on the rentrak and comScore sites. Using slingbox raises a few red flags with me too. Also, any unsolicited email that asks for my username and password does not sound legitimate.
Thank you everyone. I will contact them and look into it further. This has been very helpful and I will stay away from them. I'm glad I asked.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2018 08:30AM by pjjuang24.
This is something interesting to note, if someone comes looking for information on this forum related to this topic. Before I posted this thread, I had responded to the scheduler's post with my internet speed screenshot and asked her for the next step, Since then, I have not heard a response from the scheduler. I'm wondering if this person/scheduler may have access to this forum and be cherry picking people to try to scam... Just keep an eye out. I recently received another potential shady offer that I will not mention in this post because I do not have proof they are related.
Also, I re-read the email it and it specifically states " No phone calls, please."

I should have known...
Let us know what the legitimate company has to say about it. And thank you!

@pjjuang24 wrote:

Thank you everyone. I will contact them and look into it further. This has been very helpful and I will stay away from them. I'm glad I asked.
Can you share scheduler’s name or email address? At least email domain
Definitely sounds fishy. I am glad you came here for an advice. Thank you for sharing.
My name is Meg Olsen Rodriguez and I am the scheduler/coordinator who emailed pjjuang24. I would like to assure everyone we are a legitimate company. My email is not a scam, although I can see how it would appear to look like one to those not familiar with Rentrak/comScore. Many people have signed up on our website and forgotten they have done so. comScore is a media measurement and analytics company and one part of that is mystery shopping. Rentrak was a global media measurement and research company. We did business as Rentrak for many years until we merged with comScore two years ago.

I can’t go into detail about the shop due to our contract with the studios. However, I can say we are contracted by studios to verify their product is correctly placed and priced on a variety of cable platforms in a variety of states. Looking for this content on line will show the studios what should be available, not what really is available.

Some of our other shops include Redbox, iTunes and the few video stores that are left out there.

Now I would like to address specific concerns.

TroyHawkins’s red flags:
Cable providers update listings in real time. Yes, the cable providers update listings in real time. However, we are checking for our clients that their titles are listed correctly for the correct amount and starting on the correct day. Going on line does not give us representation from specific markets that our clients request.
We can order content on your TV. Our intent is not to order content on people’s cable boxes, but to do our job.

sestrahelena’s comment:
Connecting through your wifi opens your household network/computer to us. We only access your cable menu through the Slingbox that is attached to your cable box.

eclark3’s comment:
The email was unsolicited. The email was not unsolicited. All our shoppers have signed up on our website and I can give the exact date and time a shopper has signed up.

pjjuang24’s concern:
No phone calls. It is much easier for all parties concerned to have a printable trail of all contact. If we speak on the phone neither you nor I have a written record about our conversation(s).

This is not the first time we have been questioned on this forum. Granted, the other ones were when we were still Rentrak.

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

If anyone has questions, comments or concerns please feel free to email me mrodriguez@comscore.com or call me at 1-503-284-7581 X272 or 1-800-929-5656 X272.

Thank you,
Meg Rodriguez

Margaret Rodriguez | Mystery Shopping Coordinator| comScore, Inc.
t +1 (503) 284-7581 x272 | MRodriguez@comscore.com
7700 NE Ambassador Place, 3rd Floor | Portland, OR 97220 United States
comscore.com
Pjjuang24, please give us an update and feedback if you end up completing one of their shops. It seems that people are not familiar with the company and leary to work with them yet they may appear to have interesting work for us.
Thank you, MegRodriguez! It is clearer now! Sure wish they would check Dish Network. Their programming, descriptions, an timetables are horrendously innacurate.

sestrahelena
I have no reservations about it after reading Ms. Rodgriguez's response above, but I don't qualify since I only have one TV in my house...other than the two TV on my stepkids' side of the house that I don't ever look at, and since they watch both TV's regularly...well obviously that just won't work. But feedback on it would be great from anyone who does give it a whirl.
Hi everyone, thanks for all the responses. I did receive a personal response from Meg and I do not have any doubts about this project any more after reading the past posts. I did sign up with Rentrak at some point as it was bookmarked in my MS folder. I will be moving forward with the project if Meg will still have me as a shopper and will report back with my results. I am excited about the project!
The way of the world these days--and my dad always said better to be safe than sorry. It's good to be wary. And now we all know.
sestrahelena: We do check all cable companies. However, we were only looking for Time Warner in the southern CA area.

JASFLAMT: Having one TV does not disqualify you from the shop. It is often easier on a shopper when we don't interrupt TV viewing.

And, yes, it is always better to be safe than sorry. There are way too many scams out there!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2018 11:43PM by MegRodriguez.
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