Consumers who love to shop may find secret shopper job opportunities enticing. What jobseeker wouldn’t like to receive a job invitation by e-mail, without even having to apply or send in a resume? Your BBB encourages individuals to be extremely skeptical when it comes to secret shopper job offers and solicitations.
With its unorthodox employee recruitment practices and its ‘pay us first’ wire-money compensation system, it is no wonder that consumers are inquiring to your BBB about WA Surveys—also known as US Surveys—which offers job opportunities for mystery shoppers.
According to their Web site, www.us-surveys.net, formerly www.us-surveys.com, this company claims to be located in Seattle, WA. The address listed belongs to a hotel called University Inn, which has notified your BBB that they are not associated with WA Surveys or US Surveys and that their location is being used without authorization. Although WA Survey’s Web site claims “WA Surveys Inc. is a proud member of BBB (Better Business Bureau) since 2003..,” this company is not a BBB Accredited Business and does not meet the standards for BBB Accreditation.
Due to its industry and complaint activity, the company currently holds an “F” rating with your BBB: http://www.bbb.org/western-washington/business-reviews/ponzi-schemes/wa-surveys-inc-in-zurich-de-ch-22477499?&nostat&gid=1&gen=1&lid=1
Your Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington identifies 10 signs of a secret shopper job opportunity scheme:
- While they advertise in a newspaper's 'help wanted' section or e-mail solicitation; instead, they are charging for: a certification program, a directory of mystery shopping companies, or a guarantee of a mystery shopping job.
- You receive a solicitation or e-mail from a sender you do not know. Usually e-mails come from a free account, like yahoo or hotmail.
- The e-mail or mail contains an offer for a job that you did not apply for.
- The work begins before a formal job offer has been made: The quality of your work will determine whether you get the job.
- An up-front monetary investment is required.
- You must open a new bank account through a specific bank. This is presented as a requirement to do the job.
- Your bank account or credit card information is needed to participate.
- Commission or pay is deducted from a check they send you, which is probably counterfeit. For example: They send you a check for $5,000, and then tell you to reserve $100 as your commission and use the remaining $4,900 according to instruction.
- There are instructions to wire money or transfer funds. Most likely, internationally.
- They falsely advertise affiliation with BBB; however, the business is not a BBB Accredited Business.
Legitimate companies don't charge an up-front fee. Becoming a secret shopper for a legitimate company doesn't cost anything. Research and compare free opportunities on the Internet. Visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website at www.mysteryshop.org for more information.
Guard your personal information. Although many employers verify your Social Security Number prior to employment, do your own verifying before providing your personal information to any potential employer: Make sure that the company is legitimate. If a company demands your bank account number or credit card information, look elsewhere.
Always check with your BBB. Visit www.bbb.org to verify whether the business is a BBB Accredited Business. Never do business with a company that lies about being accredited with your BBB.
If it seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Most jobs don’t come that easily. Be wary of companies that fit the description of fraudulent mystery shopping promoters. If victimized, file a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office or the FTC.
About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
Your Better Business Bureau is a not-for-profit organization funded by Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses. The BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. For more information about the services and products provided by your BBB, call 206-431-2222 or 253-830-2924 in Washington, 503-212-3022 in Oregon, 907-562-0704 in Alaska, or visit our Web site at www.bbb.org.