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Tenn. Consumer Affairs says secret shopper scams on the rise

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT/TNS)  --  Getting paid to shop may sound like the perfect job to some, but that’s exactly why scammers use secret shopper come-ons to get into your bank account.

The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs says it’s getting a lot of complaints right now related to mystery shopping scams. The state’s Megan Buell says there are things you should look out for.

"People need to be very vigilant and very aware of any type of email solicitations that they're getting when it comes to secret shoppers, when it comes to even coupons."

Buell says never deposit a check you receive in the mail from a mystery shopping company, never respond or even open email asking you to become a secret shopper, and never click on ads offering free gift cards.

"Once you start communicating and replying back to these criminals, they are savvy and they have ways of hacking and getting into your information and causing complete havoc in your life."

Buell says in legitimate mystery shopping arrangements, consumers shop at a store, report on their experience and are later reimbursed for their purchase or are allowed to keep their purchases.