Office of Career Services

Mystery shopper scam targets new college grads

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College students and recent graduates looking for temporary work might be tempted by offers to participate in mystery shopping. It sounds legitimate enough: make a particular purchase in a store or restaurant, and then evaluate the experience for a small payment. But according to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, many of these offers are scams.

To avoid the scams, job seekers should remember:

  • Don’t pay upfront fees to be a mystery shopper. Legitimate companies don’t charge people to work for them.
  • Never agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back. The check will bounce, and you will owe your bank the money you withdrew.

To learn more, read the FTC’s consumer alert, Mystery Shopping Scams May Target New College Grads <http://ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt181.shtm>.