First welcome and great to have you. What is bothering you?
Mystery shopping has been around for years and years. Today we have some "bad" people exploiting the Internet, and perpitrating scams. If you are smart enough to read this, you are smart enough to smell a scam.
But mystery shopping is as legitimate as being a doctor, a lawyer, or even a bus driver. We have a need and mystery shoppers fill that need.
And not just for nights out, my friend was laid off, and she managed to eat everyday without spending a dime, all by mystery shopping resturant assignments. Way to go!
Welcome to Secret Shopping! It is absolutely 100% legitimate. Sadly, as Wassim stated, there are unscrupulous individuals who are trying to scam you with fake checks and asking you to send them large amounts of money. No reputable and "real" MSP will ever do that. They will never, ever send you money and ask you to send them large amounts back.
When you browse through the available shops, you will also notice the available shops are also very reputable and recognizable companies.
Secret shopping is definitely legit. Just stick with the better known companies like ISS and you won't have any problems.
I did Secret Shopping a few years ago with one company that dealt primarily with apartments. I had a lot of fun, but started to burn out the apartments in my area. I stopped for a couple years and then started back up with ISS. I like the variety of shops that are available as well as the larger area to work in.
I have since branched out to several other companies but found that I really have to limit the number of MSP's that I work with. It sometimes gets to be a little hectic trying to keep everything in order.
Start off slow and keep a calendar of the shops you get. As you get more comfortable you can pick up other companies with a larger variety of shops. That way you won't get burned out on just one type of shop.