How to find legitimate secret shopper jobs now

How about getting a free $150 meal at a nice restaurant?  

It's a secret shopper or mystery shopper job being offered in the Valley right now.

And it's a legitimate job. It's not like the offers I hear about every week when people get checks in the mail from a supposed secret shopper business.

Those are all scams.

The legitimate job employers don't contact you. You apply on their websites.

Dan Denston is executive director of the Mystery Shopping Provider's Association.

Its members post jobs for businesses across the country who need people to secretly test customer service.

"It could be wait time to get serviced. When you go into a restaurant or retailer, how long does it take before a sales associate comes up and talks with you or something of that nature," Denston said.

The jobs pay from $5 for a few minutes of time to more than $150 per job.

And when I posted the information on the Let Joe Know Facebook page, dozens of people wanted to sign up.

Our producer put in some basic information like her age and time frame for when she wanted the job.

She found 162 jobs available now through the end of January, all within 30 miles.

One of the jobs paid $15 for each bank where you find out how to open an account.

For another job, you'd get $7 for every 25 grocery store prices you audit.

And you could get $155 for a payday loan assignment.

There are also free haircuts, free meals and free carpet cleaning jobs for testing customer service.

Denston says you can get ahead of the rest by being more flexible with hours, days and conditions.

And you need to be responsible.

"Companies are always looking for quality shoppers, detailed oriented, responsible. So really if you are detailed oriented, a responsible person, you can probably work as much as you'd like," Denston said.

Find jobs now at the Mystery Shopping Provider's Association website.

Make sure to click on "shoppers" and choose "mystery shopper"  from the dropdown menu.

To avoid secret/mystery shopper scams, remember most legitimate businesses will not contact you. And none will send you large checks before you do anything.

E-mail me with any consumer problem you have or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

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