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Home / Security / Anatomy of a survey scam – how innocent questions can rip you off – Naked Security

Anatomy of a survey scam – how innocent questions can rip you off – Naked Security

We’ve been receiving loads of survey scam emails lately – and you probably get heaps of these, too.

So we thought we’d take you through a recent scam from go to woe, with screenshots to document the path that the crooks lured us along.

Sometimes, a picture is worth 1000 words (or 1024 words, if you are accustomed to binary numbers like many computer programmers), so we hope this visual tour will be useful so you can show your friends and family what to watch out for.

After all, there doesn’t seem to be much harm in answering a few pseudo-anonymous questions such as “would you visit our shops in person if they were open later?”, or “how often do you browse our website for new products?”

Many brands ask questions of that sort, and sometimes offer small rewards for people who take the trouble to fill in the survey – $5 off your next purchase, for example, or a free product of modest value with your next order.

Tha scammers, however, have much bolder goals.

Typically, cybercriminals suck you in with a seemly and believable promise, but suddenly switch things up by suggesting that you’re one of the lucky few who is going to get a gift that’s much, much more valuable than just a discount code for 5% off your next purchase.

But there’s a catch…