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Shopping for cash?

Written by Guest Post

Who isn’t looking for a little extra cash at the holidays? An offer for an easy – and fun – job could seem like just what you need. That’s the email offer I got from a major retailer (or so it said) last week:

“Holidays are coming we need you in our team. We are hiring holiday shoppers. No experience needed, just an honest opinion. The job requires you to shop and evaluate our employees. You will get paid to shop and keep the products.”

While there are legit mystery shopper jobs out there, we almost never see them in offers that show up in your inbox. Or in the classified ads. Or on telephone poles. Or on your phone.

So, before you apply, here are some things to think about:

  • Don’t click on links in unexpected emails, which could be phishing for your money or personal information. Or both.
  • Never pay for access to a job, a directory of shopping jobs, or any kind of certification to work as a mystery shopper. Legit companies pay you to work for them; they don’t charge you.
  • Don’t wire money or send a prepaid debit card to a stranger. Ever. For any reason.
  • If you’re still curious, do some research. Contact the company directly. Find their information online through your own search, not by following a link from the email.

Read more about mystery shopping, and if you spot a scam, please tell us. Because you know who’s definitely looking for a little extra cash – preferably yours? Scammers.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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