If you are looking to earn some money on the side, you can sign up to become a secret shopper for a retailer or restaurant.
Although there are legitimate secret shopper jobs, there are also tons of scammers involved in this in an attempt to steal money. So does Costco hire secret shoppers? Here’s all you need to know!
Costco Secret Shopper In 2022
Based on the information on Costco’s website, the retailer has not mentioned whether it has secret shoppers as of 2022. Therefore, it’s highly likely that Costco does not offer these jobs. However, scammers take advantage and send unsolicited job offers to customers. Report unsolicited emails to protect yourself from secret shopper scams.
To learn more about whether there are secret shoppers at Costco and things to be aware of, read on!
What’s The Role Of A Secret Shopper?
Secret shoppers play an essential role for retailers and restaurants because they study customer experiences by purchasing items or services and provide feedback to the client.
Therefore, they are vital for market research because they test the different products and services, which helps a retailer improve customer experiences.
With that, secret or mystery shoppers use their own money to pay for the product and get reimbursement from the retailer.
So, if you are thinking about becoming a secret shopper, you need to know that the pay is not too high; therefore, it’s ideal as a part-time job.
According to Indeed.com, mystery shoppers make about $21.02 per hour. However, this pay varies depending on the experience and the company hiring.
On some occasions, the pay might be lower; therefore, it’s suspicious when you get an email with a check.
Does Costco Have Secret Shoppers?
There’s no clear information about whether Costco has any secret shoppers; the retailer does not mention if it hires for this job.
Therefore, it’s most likely a scam if you get an email with a secret shopper job offer.
What Are The Things You Should Be Aware Of?
To avoid losing money, you should be aware of the tactics secret shopper scammers use and what the entire process looks like:
- This is primarily a scam if you get an email with a secret shopper job offer.
- Scammers send the email together with a check for you to deposit.
- They might send an assignment such as purchasing gift cards at Costco or wiring funds from the check via a service like MoneyGram to test its efficiency.
- Once the check bounces, you have to pay the bank all the money and penalty fees.
- If you give them your personal bank information, these scammers use this tactic for identity theft.
- You should confirm whether the emails come from Costco. This is a scammer if the email has spelling errors or the address is not related to Costco.
How Can You Protect Yourself From A Costco Secret Shopper Scam?
It’s quite easy to fall prey to these scammers if you are not keen. Therefore, here are some of the ways to protect yourself:
- Avoid responding or opening to any unsolicited emails with offers to become a Costco secret shopper because this service does seem to exist.
- If you get a check in your email to become a Costco mystery shopper, you should not deposit the check.
- Avoid responding to gift card offers and sharing any information.
- Avoid sending your personal bank information to strangers.
- Apply for jobs only via the Costco website to follow the official process.
- Check the Mystery Shopper Professionals Association (MSPA) website for a list of providers that hire secret shoppers.
What Are The Other Common Scams At Costco?
Costco prioritizes the safety of its customer information; therefore, it has identified the most common scams that can put customers at risk.
Fictitious Job Offer Emails
According to Costco, some scammers are sending out non-existing job offers.
That said, these emails appear authentic and purport to be from the human resource department or Costco executives.
Also, the scammers include the Costco logo, company information sheets, and detailed questionnaires to make the emails seem legit.
Additionally, these offers might include a request to send a processing fee to be reimbursed later.
Remember, Costco does not send job offers to random people or ask for money. Moreover, Costo doesn’t have agents working to hire people.
Therefore, it’s a potential scam if you get such an offer.
Costco customers are at risk of falling victim to phishing scams.
Because of this, the retailer advises the customer to avoid sharing their personal information such as name, address, social security numbers, credit card numbers, PINs, and passwords.
Also, to protect yourself from these scam tactics, avoid clicking and opening any suspicious emails or ads that claim to be from Costco.
Further, Costco has raised the alarm about PayPal phishing on some orders, especially since Costco doesn’t accept PayPal as a form of payment.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), fake checks are the most common technique secret shopper scammers use.
With that, Costco points out that its customers get scammed by receiving a check that they need to deposit right away.
Moreover, these scammers might also ask you to deposit another check to cover administrative costs, taxes, and processing fees.
These checks are usually fake; therefore, you’ll have to pay your bank back once the check bounces.
If you get pop-up advertisements on your browser that you’ve won a contest you didn’t participate in, this could be a scam.
For example, scammers will ask you to provide personal information to receive your gift, putting you at risk of identity theft.
In addition, if you open the links shared, you might download a virus that gets information from your computer.
Based on the information on Costco’s website, the retailer has not mentioned whether it will have secret shoppers. Therefore, it’s highly likely that Costco does not offer these jobs.
However, scammers take advantage and send unsolicited job offers to customers.
Also, there are issues with phishing, fake checks, and pop-up advertisements, which scammers use to get money from Costco customers.