Gathan Beaga

mystery shopper position

Do people actually fall for these?

Here’s an email I got the other day, sent from a PC in Chile, but supposedly for a company called “WA-Surveys”. Supposedly WA-surveys is a company based in Washington State, but oddly, the domain is registered to a Hong Kong company.

Anyway, the email started like this:

Thank you for your interest in the Mystery Shopper position.
Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies in order to help them achieve their performance goals. We offer an integrated suite of business solutions that enables corporations to achieve tangible results in the marketplace.

Nice. Someone’s been reading up on their corporate bullshit manual.

It goes on to offer a “contract” for mystery shopping:

You will be paid a commission of $100 for every duty you carry out, and bonus on your transportation allowance. Your task will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of restaurants, retail stores, casinos, shopping malls, banks and hotels in your area.

Sounds like fun, eh? There are a few qualifications though:

Qualities of a good Mystery Shopper:
 * Is 21 years of age or older
 * Loves to go shopping
 * Is fair and objective
 * Is very observant and able to focus on details
 * Is fairly intelligent

Well, that rules out a lot of potential employees. But wait! there’s more:

 * Has patience
 * Is detail oriented
 * Is practical
 * Types well
 * Is trustworthy
 * Explains well in writing
 * Is discreet
 * Loves to learn

Could be quite a learning experience, yes.

 * Handles deadlines
 * Has full internet access (at home or at work)

Mystery Shopping is fun and exciting but also must be approached very seriously and is definitely not for everyone.

Hard to know how they’ll get anyone for that job. It goes on, but I think you’ve got the picture by now.

So… there’s at least two ways this thing could play out.

  1. They send me a cheque, ask me to cash it and use the money to “mystery shop” Western Union. Cheque bounces, but not before I’ve sent the cash away.
  2. Worse (arguably), they deposit some money in my bank account, and then ask me to use that to “mystery shop” Western Union. The money is actually stolen from some other New Zealander’s bank account.

In either of these cases there’s a good chance I’ll either lose some money, or I’ll be party to someone else losing money. It’s just a new twist on those old job scam emails.