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Will Kroger pay you $200 to be a secret shopper?

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted: 6:12 PM, Apr 07, 2017
Updated: 2018-04-20 00:05:46Z

Who wouldn't want to be a mystery shopper, getting paid to go grocery shopping at Kroger?

"Sure, why not?" one Kroger shopper told us. "I kind of enjoy trying different things."

That's what one Northern Kentucky woman, who didn't want to be identified, thought too. She received an email -- from an email address at "Jobs.Kroger.com" -- offering her a mystery shopping position.

"It said to become a Kroger shopper, a secret shopper, just fill out the application," she said.

It promised to pay $200 to $400 per assignment to shop her local Kroger store. She would even get to keep the groceries. So she applied.

What shows up in mail

A few days later, she received an envelope that she assumed would contain instructions about her first assignment.

But instead, she said it contained something else. Inside an Express Mail envelope was a check for $2,800 from a credit union.

"I thought oh my gosh, what did I do," she said, wondering why Kroger would send her almost three grand before she did five minutes of work.

Earlier this year, Terri Jones of northern Ohio applied for a similar job at Walmart and got a very similar check for almost $3,000.

The instructions told her to cash it, then test out Walmart's Money Gram counter.

Jones says it instructed her to "send $1,100 to this guy in Houston, then go to another Walmart, and send $1,200 to a guy in Dallas." She would then keep the remaining $500 or so for herself, as her payment.

Luckily she got suspicious, and stopped right there.

Kroger issues caution

Kroger and Walmart say these are all scams. The Better Business Bureau says in every case, the check will bounce, and you will lose hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of your personal money.

Do you want to be a secret shopper? Check the website of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association  at www.mspa-na.org  (note that it ends with .org, not .com).

As for Kroger, a store spokeswoman says it is not paying people to shop -- and will never mail you a check to do any sort of work.

As always, don't waste your money.

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Have a problem?
Send me an email, at jmatarese@wcpo.com or message me on Facebook .