Shoppers be cautious!

In the past few weeks, I received two solicitations for work, each with an attractive fee, but in each case requiring remote accessing of my computer; I declined both. While the fees were certainly generous, for me the possible damage far exceeded the gain. If you are considering such an assignment, be diligent.

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no mentioned of type of shop or company? Can we get a little more info?
I have a crap computer that I have nothing on. I could care less if they access that one. there is nothing personal on it. It was more for completing shops on the road when traveling. I might pull it out a few times per year.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2022 07:37PM by hbbigdaddy.
Daddy,

I recall both were financial, but do not remember the MSCs, I checked in Office for my deleted items, but I had cleaned that folder since receiving either notice. In your situation, though, why not?
Hi @shopperbob - did you receive these solicitations via email? The reason for my question is that a cousin of mine recently signed up to start shopping. She received a text message today from someone claiming to be from Market Force. The text contained multiple spelling errors and was not from the same number it asked her to call. She is not terribly tech savvy and for some reason she asked me about the text. I have never received text messages from Market Force. I always receive phone calls from a different number than the one in the message. I tried calling the number from my home phone but did not click the link in the text message. The number was, of course, disconnected. Thank you for the heads up.

@shopperbob wrote:

In the past few weeks, I received two solicitations for work, each with an attractive fee, but in each case requiring remote accessing of my computer; I declined both. While the fees were certainly generous, for me the possible damage far exceeded the gain. If you are considering such an assignment, be diligent.
Well if you get another email about it, can you post the company name at least? I would take a look. I'm not saying I would complete a shop, but I would be interested in hearing more.
The offers were by E-mail. If I receive any in the future, I will add to this thread. As for me, there is not any reasonable amount of money for me to grant access to my computer.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/30/2022 09:35AM by shopperbob.
Thanks shopperbob.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Thank you!

@shopperbob wrote:

The offers were by E-mail. If I receive any in the future, I will add to this thread. As for me, there is not any reasonable amount of money for me to grant access to my computer.
HI Shopperbob,

What's to stop you from using a computer at the local library? They might have a firewall, so that could be a problem, but it could be worth a try. If the shop pays enough, it might be worth it to buy a crap laptop (like a burner phone) just for the purpose of doing the shops. But it pays to be suspicious if you are not familiar with the company.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/30/2022 05:48PM by hbbigdaddy.
Daddy,

Thank you for a great idea. I have a call in to my tech to discuss if, in the event I am again contacted, that is feasible. At least I will know for the future.
I saw that too, and wondered on it a little as well. Most screen share situations have to do with some type of tech support. This had to do with a project manager sharing a screen with you on your very personal confidential financial records. The company does a lot of finance shops, but I also wondered about the screen share on such when a screen shot would do the job just fine. One does wonder exactly what kind of background check this project manager went through to be deemed trustworthy with that level of information on that number of people. What could go wrong there?
spg perhaps or maybe curinos formerly informa. $75 sound right?

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
I did an online shop like this through Informa, a couple of years before the pandemic. It was with a project manager I had done lots of work for, so I was not worried about a scam. We discussed what would happen for days ahead of time, and set an appointment for the shop (because he would have to be there).

I did it on my cheap laptop instead of my workhorse desktop, just in case. From what I recall, a financial company was having difficulties with their website--terrible thing for customer confidence in a business handling one's money. I went to the company's website, looked through their webpages for a specific product, and filled out an online request form, while the project manager watched what I did. Just basic info. We were on the phone at the same time, and I remember him asking me to open certain links on various pages.

The whole shop took about 15-20 minutes, with no shop form to fill out, and it paid three figures. Like shopperbob, I would not do a shop like this for an unfamiliar MS company employee.
Shopperbob---were you asked for access into your computer OR access to records of a business that invoices you on a schedule?
Rho.

As I recall, I would have been permitting another person to remotely access my computer to watch me complete the assignment. Currently I am awaiting word from my tech as to Daddy's suggestion. She, the tech, and I have known each other for 38 years, as before her marriage she was my ballroom dance partner and I absolutely follow her computer advice.
I am also aware of Susan L's shop experience. I have done a tremendous amount of work for informa (now Curinos). Yes, they usually are wanting you to use a iphone and they will use MS Teams meeting to set up a meeting and screen share. They cannot control your computer, but are watching/recording what you enter and how you navigate thru opening a bank account or investment account. If you're not comfortable with them knowing your SSN and other things, then even though they don't have control of your computer, you won't be comfortable with doing these.

If the pay was lucrative enough and I could do multiple assignments with ShopperBob's scenario, I would buy a cheap tablet or laptop and use it for the shops only and then go to Starbucks/McDonalds or anywhere else and use their free wifi so they cannot get into your network and other devices. If you have nothing on your system, the worst they can do is put malware/virus in your device. But if you are not using it for anything other than these shops, I do not see the harm. But I certainly would not being using my own home network and letting them control any of my devices.
I do receive text messages from Marketforce. However, I have gone out of my way to develop relationships with schedulers, so it's not extraordinary for me to receive texts from MANY MSCs. And it makes me quite happy to get them with end-of-month/end-of-quarter huge bonuses!
I received a reply from my tech that DADDY'S suggestion was definitely a viable solution to my concern. Sometime this week, I will be setting up an older computer, that has been stripped of all important info, to network for any future work I accept requiring remote access.

Folks, if you think I am being paranoid, you are correct; or me, it is better to be safe than sorry. To permit anyone, other than my tech, access to my computer, much less a stranger, would not be prudent. As the old adage does, though, "To each his/her own."
Glad I could be helpful with a suggestion. I still suggest using a public network and not your own wifi set up if you are going to let them take control of your device. If you are just screen sharing, then it won't matter, but if you give them access to your device, they can access anything on that network. That is why I'm saying to use McD, Starbucks, etc if they "control".
Thank you DADDY, as neither I nor my tech had considered that possibility. As I have zero need for money, I am implementing KISS, keep it simple sailor, and scratching that type of assignment from consideration. As another old adage states, "Better safe than sorry."
@hbbigdaddy wrote:

Glad I could be helpful with a suggestion. I still suggest using a public network and not your own wifi set up if you are going to let them take control of your device. If you are just screen sharing, then it won't matter, but if you give them access to your device, they can access anything on that network. That is why I'm saying to use McD, Starbucks, etc if they "control".

I wouldn't access my real banking accounts or any financial info through a free unsecured public network. There are too many security risks. Hackers have also been known to set up fake (similar looking) access points; Starbucks1, WalmartFree, etc. It's better to use your own VPN. But if the MSC is providing a fake S.S. and name I guess it's not a big deal.

The problem I see is that MSC's are starting to use verification methods that scammers have been known to use. Potential mystery shoppers read these message boards or hear about friends/family that do these account opening bank shops and then get duped, scammed.
Just to be clear, there are several solutions. If you are going to let someone access your device directly (take control), I would not use my own home network where other devices were attached. If I was to do financial things (bank accounts/etc), I would NOT use a public wifi either. You can probably use the wifi from your cell device to connect to laptop/tablet or just use the cellphone itself. I have a burner cell that I use for these purposes. I have 6 lines with Tmobile, so this phone is never accessing financial information and only used for shops.

But for ShopperBob, he's right to be cautious. You can't get burned if you don't play with fire.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2022 10:37PM by hbbigdaddy.
@patman9760 I've been with MF forever, they were the first company I signed on with eons ago. Have your sister go into her account to see if she signed up to receive text messages from them. But you are correct, they usually always call, or email you with offers for assignments. I never give my cell number to any companies, because I don't want in inundated with texts, and calls, I'm signed up with way too many companies.

Spelling errors are a red flag, she can always call the direct number, with the project/assignment ID, which should be listed in the offer made by text, and ask, or if it's the fast-food side, email the help desk with the information and ask. MF on the theater side is good at responding to inquiries. There are two portals connected with MF. One can be reached via help desk and the other a direct phone number, the direct phone number is attached to the former theater side which has run some merchandising assignments lately.
All good information here friends. Market Force has started to use some text messages to advertise assignments, but they will usually come with a link to the shopper portal or a request to call the theatre help desk. Please be cautious with all these MS companies random emails and texts...these scammers are trying to spoof us all!
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