I learned about Amusement Advantage from Brooke and Christine. They have all sorts of fun shops: movie theatres, amusement parks, museums, and more!
From their website: “We only evaluate attractions, amusement locations, and entertainment facilities. Our shops give you the opportunity to have fun with friendly and family and include reimbursement for you some of your guests expenses and in most cases a little extra cash profit or extra free tickets for your time and efforts. Click here to see a list of locations we are currently shopping. Curious what others shoppers say about our company? Click here to see reviews from other shoppers just like you!”
If you want to Check out Amusement Advantage and see if there are opportunities near you, click here. If you decide to sign up, use my email firstname.lastname@example.org as a referral. We’ll each get a little something extra.
Y’all know I love a good side Hustle. Recently I found out about Hatch. And I’ve already earned $5!
Hatch rewards you with e-gifts just for sharing your thoughts and feelings about companies you use, to make your life (and the lives of others) better! Through a variety of activities (like surveys, product tests, in-store mystery shops) that you can complete on your own time, you can earn more than many other survey sites.
Most activities pay an average of between $5 and $10, although some have gone as high as $200. Your time = more money.
We pay you money, not points. You will receive e-gift codes to use for anything you want. Use each e-gift alone, or rack them up and spend them on something big! There is no minimum to “cash out”.
Most activities take up to 5 minutes to complete.
Complete short surveys answering a few questions, upload photos and videos, take us on store shopping trips, and buy a product and give us a review. These are all activities that you can do in Hatch!
There are new activities every day!
Hatch is used by the world’s leading brands.
No gimmicks! No ads! You complete activities and you get paid.
Signing up is easy and safe. You must be 16 to download and you only need to provide your location and some other general demographic information. Your personal, identifiable information will never be shared with anyone.
2020 wasn’t the best year for side hustles. Like most of us, I spent most of 2020 at home. That means no secret shopping, no audits with Field Agent. I did a lot more surveys and online research studies in 2020.
When there aren’t any side hustles to earn money, the name of the game becomes all about saving money.
My complete list of side hustles is here. And the list of apps I use is here.
Let’s start with Smartphone apps since they are pretty passive income for me. I’m not as much into them as a lot of other savers. The truth is, I don’t shop at most mainstream grocery stores, so apps like Ibotta aren’t very useful.
Wednesday I opened our mailbox to discover a flat rate envelope addressed to me. Now, as a blogger, it isn’t uncommon to receive stuff in the mail. Tickets/comps to shows and events, samples, products to review, and even checks when I get paid for writing. Most of the time, these days, PR firms pay via Venmo, Paypal or EFT/Wire Transfer. I wasn’t expecting anything.
Something about this was… weird. Different. I didn’t recognize the name on the return address. The Envelope was light. I opened it and found this letter and check:
Oh, so many things went through my head as I read this letter.
OMG- So many fonts! That by itself SCREAMS SCAM! Also- That’s not what the USPS Logo looks like. The one on the letter is all stretched out and pixelated.
I never signed up to audit/secret shop the US Postal Service. That’s not even something that is done by an outside party/company (I called the local post office at talked to someone- They straight up told me it was a scam.).
When a letter is not on company letterhead with an office address, phone number, email address, and website- It’s a scam.
When you are given a task to do and you are told to DEPOSIT A CHECK INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT- It’s a scam. Real, honest, legit secret shopping companies do not tell you to do that. They don’t front you the money. They reimburse you. And also- $2000 in untraceable money orders? IT’S A SCAM.
When I called the “text only numbers” there was no answer at either one.
Speaking of the phone numbers… Area codes 646 and 914 are both in New York state, but the return address on the priority envelope I received was from Pahrump, NV. SCAM.
The RE: line on my “check” says Cherie Miller, but I have no idea who that is. She’s not the person who sent me the check, and that name doesn’t appear on any of the paperwork. SCAM
After I read the letter and looked over the check, I went into full investigation mode. Back when I worked in property management, one of my favorite parts of the job was to search for people who owed various clients (HOA’s) money. Finding people to get them to pay delinquent accounts involves a high degree of “google-Fu”, which I pride myself on.
VyStar Credit Union is a for really real Credit Union in Florida. I called their customer service number and talked to a cool rep. I explained what I had, gave her the routing number and account number. Now, the routing number on this check does not match the routing number on their website. Some banks and financial institutions list their routing numbers on their websites to assist customers. The Customer Service confirmed: THE CHECK WAS NOT REA, NOR WAS IT DRAWN ONA REAL ACCOUNT. Meaning, if I had deposited it, the check would bounce like a rubber ball. I would be hit with fees, and be responsible for paying my bank back the amount the check was written for.
At this point, I wasn’t really sure what to do. Call the DA? Call the FBI (It is mail fraud and came from out of state)? Call the local Post office (which I later did and they didn’t care)? I asked my mom, and she suggested I call Consumer Bob (he’s a local media figure, I messaged him on Facebook but never heard back). I called the DA and spoke to a Legal Secretary. She said to mail it to them and they’d put it in their fraud file. She said not to bother the FBI.
So why am I writing about this today? Because if I get one of these letters, many other people will too. People who need money, people who want to do secret shops/audits to make a little extra money. Not everyone will think with a clear or level head. They’ll take the check to the bank and deposit it ASAP without doing any research.
So I’m going to repeat myself: Real, honest, legit secret shopping companies do not tell you to do that. They don’t front you the money. They reimburse you after you turn your report and receipts in.
If you want to learn a little more about other types of scams that I’ve come across, here is a good article. And if you are looking for a way to make a little extra money doing secret shops or audits, check out my post here about Field Agent. Field Agent is legit. I earn money with them every week doing small audits and shops. We got free pizza last week at Little Caesar’s and earned a little extra money too!
What did I end up doing with the letter, check, and envelope? It’s going to the DA next week.
Please share this post with your friends and family, especially if you have older family members who may not have great internet searching skills, or may need to earn some money. This scam can devastate an individual or family’s financial situation.
It’s June- The middle of the year, time to review how much I’ve made on my side hustles so far this year. To be fair, I did just complete a semester of college, so it’s probably not as much as I could have been making.
I’ve only included the hustles I’ve made money with in 2019. A complete list of all my money making hustles can be found here.
Radial Insight So far in 2019, I’ve earned a little over $25 in Amazon GC (which is my preferred method of payment, besides cold, hard cash)
PaidViewPoint– $33 via Paypal, plus I’ve done 2 studies where they send me a product to try out and fill out a survey about.
Field Agent $120.30 (via EFT) to date! This is one of my favorites. You choose the tasks you wish to do, and you can do as many as you are able to complete.
SBKC $50 via online Visa GC. I’ve been doing this for one for about 9 or so years. It’s dead simple.
Focus Groups $300 I’ve only done two this year, but I’m scheduled for one next Friday that pay $200!
I’ve written about Field Agent before, but I’ve got an awesome update!
The new referral program pays you money for telling your friends about Field Agent.
For every new agent that uses your referral code, Field Agent will pay you 10-percent of what they earn until they reach $100. There’s no limit to the amount of referrals you can give out. The more, the merrier!
My Referral Code is abxbnqx. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do! I did 3 audits at our local Walmart today and earned $12 for 15 minutes of work.
I’ve been tallying up how much I made in 2018 on my side hustles, and I thought that I’d share. I don’t work on all of these every day. Sometimes, there are tons of hustles to do, and sometimes (like in the summer), there aren’t too many opportunities. Part of side hustles is rolling with the punches. When there aren’t any side hustles to earn money, the name of the game becomes all about saving money.
My complete list of side hustles is here. And the list of apps I use is here.
Let’s start with Smartphone apps, since they are pretty passive income for me. I’m not as much into them as a lot of other savers. The truth is, I don’t shop at most mainstream grocery stores, so apps like Savingstar and Ibotta aren’t very useful. And we don’t eat a lot of pre-packaged stuff any more.