road-sign-464653_192010/1/16 – I have published a blog post on secret shopping and highlighted a legitimate company, BestMark.   But for every honest company, there have got to be about 100 scammers.   I found one today in my inbox.

To start, any company that contacts you out of the blue to secret shop should send up red flags.    No legitimate company does that.    So immediately I knew this was a scam, however I wanted to investigate further to show you how to spot a scam if just getting an email from a stranger doesn’t set off your warning bells, or you happen across a company in a search and want to know if they are on the up and up.

Here is the original email I received:

scammedNational Shopping Services Network, LLC.  My first task was googling their company name.   On the surface they actually SEEM legit.   There was a stone and mortar business front photo that came up, and nothing standing out immediately that would warn you.   I scanned the google results and I saw one for the Better Business Bureau.  This is the best resource to use.   To my surprise they had a listing, and at first glance that too was positive… but you have to always read carefully:


They have the “A+” rating but the big red letters saying there is an alert should cause you to investigate further.   If you scroll down to nearly the bottom of the page you see that the original company called National Shopping Service Network, LLC was taken over by a new entity.   The original company might have been on the up and up, but these new owners are not!

Finding an honest company to do business with isn’t always easy and it takes a lot of homework!  There are many more scammers out there than real opportunities.

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