An old perennial “favorite” in the scam world has been making a comeback lately. Customer service scams have been around, it seems, since the time of the dinosaurs. Okay, maybe not that long, but for years now. From time to time they resurface with a new twist, and here we go again.
This time, according to the folks at the Better Business Bureau, intended targets are receiving emails with subject lines such as “Your reward points are expiring! Claim now!” Many companies, including Walgreen’s and Macy’s, have been spoofed in this way. The unsuspecting shopper at one of the impersonated stores clicks a link in the email.
What happens next is that you find out that you have been “selected to complete a survey about your recent customer experience.” The email says that when you finish the questionnaire you will receive $100 or more in the store’s bonus points. Doesn’t that sound good?
Don’t do it.
If you click the link there are several tricks the scammers are using against you. You may complete a survey alright, but at the end you get the high-pressure tactics to buy junk like diet pills or wrinkle cream. In other versions of this scam the survey asks you for personal information such as banking or credit card numbers (remember: Asking for your personal information is a Dead Giveaway for a Scam). A third dirty trick is that clicking the link downloads malware to your computer.
Always remember: Never click on links that come in unsolicited emails (remember: Never let yourself be chosen, always do the choosing). The sneaky part here is that the email may claim or seem to have information about you. You may not remember that you never signed up for emails from the company. Another Dead Giveaway is the push for urgency, trying to get you to do something before you have time to think. Delete emails that try to get you to act immediately or face a consequence. (See my earlier blog post called Hurry Should Make You Worry). As always, watch for typos, awkward phrases, and bad grammar and hover your mouse over the web address text to see where the link will take you. Legitimate businesses’ web addresses should take you to their official website.