SCAMwatch email alert: Beware of scam surveys and fake free offers

Discussion in 'Alerts!' started by xmanhere, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. xmanhere

    xmanhere Ninja

    Added: September 2013

    SCAMwatch is reminding people to beware of online scams – surveys, emails and social-media posts – offering fake gift vouchers or other bogus inducements in return for disclosing credit card and other personal information.

    While many online surveys are legitimate and may be backed by some reward, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Woolworths continue to receive complaints about possible scams misusing the Woolworths name and logo, going under such titles as ‘Get a free $50 Woolworths voucher’ or ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’.

    Scams such as these often ask people to provide credit card or other personal details, which criminals can use to commit identity theft and other fraud.

    Woolworths is advising people that all its official competitions are listed at www.woolworths.com.au on its Promotions and Competitions page.
    How these scams work
    These scams abuse the brand names and logos of well-known companies and products to make them look legitimate.
    As with many legitimate offers and online posts, you might be asked to complete a survey and/ or pass on an offer to others before you can claim a voucher or other inducement or enter a competition. But the scams will take your valuable information and give you only disappointment in return – the products don’t arrive or the vouchers are fakes and the retailers won’t honour them.
    Recent scams have related to supermarkets, coffee shops, smart phones and tablets, including offers featured on Facebook.

    Example
    Sharon was checking her Facebook page and found her sister had ‘liked’ a link to a Woolworths survey which offered a $150 voucher for a five minute survey. Sharon completed the questions and filled in personal details at the end (she was a Woolworths online customer so figured they already had her details anyway). She received the voucher in her email and went into Woolworths to do her grocery shopping only to discover at the checkout that it was a fake. When she went home she was shocked to discover unauthorised transactions on her credit card.


    Protect yourself
    Be very wary when, for example, filling in surveys linked from social networking sites – being asked to provide such detailed information as Medicare numbers or credit-card security codes should ring alarm bells.
    You should check whenever you can whether offers are legitimate, even those passed on from people you know. If the offers are represented as coming directly from a particular retailer, check they are listed on the retailers’ official websites – or call a business’ official customer-service line. Don’t click on links or call numbers listed in the offers – they can link to fake websites and even fake call centres.
    If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately.
    Report

    You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.
    More information

    For more information on this particular scam, check out the Woolworths Scam Alert at http://www.woolworths.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/website/woolworths/about+us/woolworths-news/scamalert .

    Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov
     
  2. xmanhere

    xmanhere Ninja

    Watch out for scam surveys and fake gift card offers
    2 June 2016

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    Dear radar subscriber,

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning the public to be alert to scams offering fake gift cards or vouchers in return for disclosing credit card and other personal information.

    “This year, the ACCC’s Scamwatch has received 1,175 complaints about fake surveys, emails and social media posts misusing the names and logos of big retailers such as JB Hi-fi, Bunnings, Coles and Woolworths, with $2,600 in total reported lost. These losses are the tip of the iceberg as the scammer’s target is your personal information to help them scam you again in the future,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

    “Scammers use fake gift card promotions to trick consumers into handing over their personal information such as banking details or passwords, which are later used to steal your money or your identity, or to on-sell to other scammers.”

    “Protect your personal information by verifying whether an offer is legitimate by checking if it is listed on the retailers’ official website or by calling the retailers’ official customer service line.”

    How these scams work
    • You receive an email or text message out of the blue, or come across a social media post, claiming that you have been selected to receive or have the chance to win a gift card from a well-known company.
    • The email, message or post appears legitimate, using brand names and official logos to convince you it’s the real deal.
    • As with many legitimate offers and online posts, you might be asked to complete a survey or pass on an offer to others before you can claim the gift card or voucher.
    • Upon completing the survey, forwarding or accepting the offer you will generally be directed to a well-constructed webpage. Here, you will be prompted to provide personal information such as your phone number, address and bank account details.
    • After handing over your personal information, you may receive a fake gift voucher or alternatively, receive nothing at all. You may also begin to receive unsolicited emails and phone calls requesting more information that the scammer may use to commit identity theft and other fraud.
    [​IMG]
    Protect yourself
    • Be alert to unsolicited offers – while some offers may be legitimate sometimes they are scams and can be very difficult to identify – it’s always best to check independently every time.
    • Verify the offer – Always check whether an offer is genuine, even those passed on from people you know. Contact the relevant retailer using contact details you get from a phone book or independent online search.
    • Avoid clicking links – don’t rely on links or phone numbers appearing in an offer – these can direct you to fake websites or download malware. If you get an email supposedly from a well-known company, before clicking, hover your computer mouse over the URL or link. If the address after the ‘@’ symbol doesn’t end with the company’s name and .com, it’s likely to be a scam.
    • Take your time – many scams will claim the offer is limited to try and create a sense of urgency. Don’t be rushed into handing over your personal information.
    • Consider your privacy – Only provide information such as Medicare numbers and credit card security codes to organisations you can trust – requests of this nature should ring alarm bells.
    • Report – If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately.
     

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