Scam of the day – September 6, 2016 – Phony survey scam

Today’s Scam of the day is one about which I have been writing for more than two years, but keeps turning up in the email of many people.    Using the logos of legitimate companies such as Kohl’s Costco, Walmart and Amazon, just to name a few, you are told that you will receive a $50 gift card from these companies if you merely complete a short survey.  The survey looks official and the page has the official logo of a familiar company, however often what the scammers are seeking is personal information that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Sometimes they use the information to craft spear phishing emails likely to convince you to click on links infected with malware.  In other instances, your phone number is turned over to telemarketers.

TIPS

As I always say, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  Merely because an email appears to be official and carries a company’s logo does not make the communication legitimate.  It is very easy to copy a logo on to an email and make the communication look official and legitimate when, in fact, it is a counterfeit and a scam.  No legitimate survey will ever ask for banking information, passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card information or banking information.  The only reason for asking for that information is to make you a victim of identity theft.  Finally, no company is going to be in a position to give everyone who completes a customer satisfaction survey a $50 gift card.  A legitimate company may enter you into a drawing to win such a card by completing a survey, but no company is giving away $50 gift cards to everyone.