Today, we talked about how there is a new scam involving people who want to be mystery shoppers — they get hired by companies to go anonymously into restaurants and retail stores to shop and then rate the store or restaurant for the company that hired them (which in turn was hired by the retail store or restaurant itself).

In Phoenix, about 15 consumers have reported being scammed by fake mystery shopper companies that give them $2,000 to $4,000 checks upfront, and then ask them to “wire” money to test the wiring company. The cashier’s checks turn out to be bogus, and so they’re out the money they “wire” back to the company. Watch out.

Here’s what one Newstalk 750 WSB listener had to say about mystery shopping:

I am an almost “Professional Mystery Shopper”. I work for 7 different companys. Here are a few tips:

(1) You will not make alot of money to start and you will not get rich.
(2) You must NEVER PAY to work for a company.
(3) There are NO schools or training to be a shopper.
(4) Each shop is case specific. It has its own needs and requirements. Each company you SHOP for has training for the assignment.
(5) As you get good at shopping and following instructions, you get more responsibilities. That equates to more pay.
(6) Often times, you will be an actual rep. for a company like CHEVRON as example. You then must act in a very professional manner. You are no longer a “MYSTERY SHOPPER” but a site evaluator. and full exposure is called for.
(7) The only SPECIAL EQUIPMENT you ever need is a digital camera and a high speed ISP. Sometimes a debit card is called for.

Is anyone else out there a mystery shopper?

Published: Jul 14, 2006