This scam starts innocently enough when you receive an email asking you to fill out a customer satisfaction survey for a major company, such as Bank of America. In return for completing the survey you are promised a valuable gift card. After a few appropriate questions, however, the survey asks for some personal information from you such as your credit card number, or your Social Security number. This is where the identity theft begins. Even though the email with the survey appears to be legitimate and even carries the logo of a legitimate company, the truth is that the logo is counterfeit and the email is not from a legitimate company, but rather from an identity thief who is merely trying to lure you into providing information such as your credit card number or Social Security number in order to make you a victim of identity theft through a technique called phishing, whereby the identity theft tricks you into providing information by posing as a legitimate company.
No legitimate survey requires personal information from you of a nature such as your credit card numbers or Social Security number that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft. You should never provide such personal information in response to any email because you can never be sure that the email is legitimate. If you are every asked for such information and even if it appears to be a legitimate request, you should check out the legitimacy of the email request by calling the company or governmental agency at a number that you know is accurate to confirm whether or not the request is indeed legitimate. You can also Google the company doing the survey and add the word “scam” to your Google search to see what comes up as well. Finally, as I have warned you many times before, you should never click on links in emails you receive until you have confirmed that they are legitimate. Otherwise you run the risk of downloading a keystroke logging malware program that can steal all of the information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.