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Mystery Shopper 101 Revealing Personal Information

With mystery shopper scams making the rounds lately, many people are hesitant to disclose personal information when applying to be a mystery shopper - and rightfully so! With an large number of scammers trying to trick applicants into disclosing their social security numbers or bank information, one can never be too careful.

Those who are applying to be a mystery shopper tend to wonder how much personal information they should disclose in the application process. The short answer is: applicants should never reveal more information than they would when applying for a traditional job, and they should research each company before submitting any personal information.

What information will legitimate mystery shopping companies ask for? Many mystery shopping companies will ask applicants fill out an online form to be added to their mystery shopper database. This form will typically ask for very basic information such as name, address, email address, and phone number. They may also ask applicants to write a short note detailing their applicable experience with mystery shopping or request a resume.

Will the mystery shopper have to supply their social security number? The only time a potential mystery shopper may be asked for their social security information is on a 1099 tax form or for tax reporting services. Before providing a social security number, applicants should research the mystery shopping agency to ensure it is a legitimate company. Additionally, they should also check to see that the page where they are entering their information is secure. Secure websites have addresses that begin with "https" and will show a lock next to the address.

Will they be asked to share banking information? Under no circumstance will a legitimate mystery shopping company ever ask applicants to provide their banking information. Any mystery shopper job description that asks applicants to fill out a direct deposit form is a scam. Why? Direct deposit is only used for salaried employees, and the amount a mystery shopper will earn will fluctuate based on the number of shops they do. In other words, a mystery shopping agency can not guarantee a set salary per week, and therefore could never legitimately offer direct deposit.

Will they need to pay to sign up with a myster shopping agency? No legitimate mystery shopping agency will ever require applicants to pay, especially if it is to cover training costs, or pay a membership fee. Mystery shopping companies earn their money from their client, not from the mystery shopper. Their task is to find and employ talented individuals, and requiring applicants to pay money would cut down their talent pool drastically.

Before sending over any personal information, mystery shopping job applicants should remember to use the internet to research the company's name or job details to see if others have filed complaints. A bit of foresight and research can go a long way in preventing a potentially damaging situation.

About Author Kimberly Nasief :

Measure CP is a global mystery shopper company working with businesses to make sure that good customer service and positive brand experiences are being delivered, that products are displayed correctly, and that the service experience is identical at all locations. Measure CP specializes in customer experience management to assist clients in providing good customer relations and can be found at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Thursday, April 24, 2014
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