Are Mystery Shopper Jobs Legitimate?

Show some love...

I get asked this a lot. Are mystery shopper jobs legitimate?

Yes, there are legitimate mystery shopping jobs out there, but there are also lots of scams. If the job is legitimate, you are not required to deposit a check into your personal bank account and then wire money to somebody or pay an application fee.

Mystery Shopping, What is it?

are mystery shopper jobs legitimateSometimes, retailers hire a company to assess service quality in their stores and frequently use mystery shoppers to obtain the information. They assign the mystery shopper to make a specific purchase in a restaurant or store, and then report back on their experience. Usually, the mystery shopper is paid back and keeps the service or product. Occasionally, the mystery shopper is paid a small amount too.

Many specialists in the field regard mystery shopping to be a part-time gig at best. And, they further say that jobs generally are advertised online by merchandising or market research companies.

Never Pay To Be A Mystery Shopper

Crooked promoters make use of emails and newspaper ads to give people the idea that mystery shopping jobs are a stepping stone to higher-paying jobs with renowned companies. They frequently build websites where you are able to “register” to become a mystery shopper, but require you to pay a fee first to ensure a mystery job, for a directory of mystery shopping companies or for information regarding a certification program.

are mystery shopper jobs legitimateIt’s not necessary to pay anybody to enter into the mystery shopping field. The certification they offer is in most cases worthless. Lists of genuine companies hiring mystery shoppers are accessible for free online.

If you try to obtain a refund from the advertisers, you’re out of luck. Either the company won’t phone you back, or if they do return your call, it’s just to give you another pitch.

Never Wire Money

You might have heard somewhere about people who get “hired” to become mystery shoppers, and are notified that their first job is to assess a money transfer service, such as MoneyGram or Western Union. The shopper is given a check and instructed to deposit it into their personal bank account. Then they are told to withdraw cash in the same amount and wire/send it to a third party. The check is bogus.

are mystery shopper jobs legitimateAccording to the law, banks are required to make the funds from the check that was deposited accessible within a few days, but discovering a bogus check may take weeks. It might seem like the check has cleared and the money put into the account; however, when the check winds up being bogus, the person who made the check deposit and then wired the money is held accountable for paying the money back to the bank.

NEVER deposit a check from a stranger and then wire back the money to them.

Check out this video:



Tips On Finding Genuine Mystery Shopping Jobs

In order to become a mystery shopper for a genuine company does not cost you anything. Here’s how to do it:

  • Investigate mystery shopping. Look at online sites, bookstores or libraries for tips on how to find genuine companies who are hiring mystery shoppers and how to perform the job efficiently.
  • Perform an internet search for comments and reviews on mystery shopping companies that are hiring and receiving applications online. Dig deep. Scammers might be paid to post fake positive reviews.
  • Keep in mind that genuine companies do not require you to pay them to work for them. They are required to pay you to work for them.
  • NEVER send/wire money as part of a mystery shopping job assignment

are mystery shopper jobs legitimateCheck out the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website to search their database of mystery shopper job assignments and find out how to apply for them. The MSPA has free certification programs, but “certification” is not required to look or even apply for jobs in their database.

For the time being, do not do any business with mystery shopping advertisers who:

  • Advertise mystery shopping jobs by email or in the “help wanted” section of the newspaper.
  • Demand you pay to be “certified.”
  • Guarantee a mystery shopping job.
  • Charge a fee in order to access mystery shopping jobs.
  • Sell directories of businesses that are hiring mystery shoppers.
  • Request that you deposit a check into your personal bank account then send/wire a portion of the money to somebody.

The Bottom Line

If you believe you are a victim of a mystery shopping scam or have seen one, you can file a complaint with:

I hope I was able to answer your question, “Are Mystery Shopper Jobs Legitimate?”  Have you ever been a victim of a mystery shopping scam?  I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments below.


Before you go, I need to ask you a few very important questions …

Are you searching for a GENUINE Online Business Opportunity?

Are you tired of struggling online and want to once and for all succeed by receiving first rate, step-by-step training along with everything you could possibly need to succeed wrapped up in a complete package? …And, did I mention that it’s FREE? Yes, FREE!


Click Here To Learn More About This Amazing FREE Opportunity!

Here’s to your success!


Wealthy Affiliate


  1. Shawn F.

    I love all the info you provide for mystery shopping! It is very informative and it definitely helps me out a lot. All of the facts you list in this site is great. There are definitely a lot of scams out there so everyone should be careful. One question I have for you. Do you recommend any valid sites for mystery shopping?


    • Barb

      Hi, Shawn!  Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I really love hearing from my readers.

      I’m so glad that I was able to help you out.  With regard to mystery shopping sites, I would contact the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) to find legitimate mystery shopping assignments.  Simply click the link within this article.

      Happy shopping!

  2. Hailey

    Hey there
    I have always seen these jobs posted around. Get paid to shop! Who wouldnt want to get paid to spend money!!

    Your post is great! There is so many scam artists out there just taking advantage of people who are generally struggling!

    Thanks for the information it was great!

  3. theceoinslippers

    My wife is a mystery shopper for a few different organizations and the points that you made to avoid the people who are scamming you are legitimate. Don’t ever send money or pay to be a shopper. I am so glad you reference the association. That can help people weed out the scams. I love shopping with my wife on these secret shops. We get to do some fun things.

    • Barb

      Hi, theceoinslippers!  Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I love hearing from my readers.

      I’m glad your wife was able to find some legitimate mystery shopping jobs and you are both enjoying her shopping assignments.

      All too often, people are tempted by the wonderful benefits of becoming a mystery shopper that they overlook the fact that they might be being scammed.

      I agree.  Never pay for jobs.  They should be paying you.

      Also, not too many people are aware of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) which is why I made sure to mention them.


Leave a Reply

I'd Love To Hear From You!

Thanks! I appreciate your input.