Scam survey promises easy cash
Wed, 09 Dec 2009 04:26:35 GMT —
Everybody would like a little extra cash for the holidays. Now a new online scam is preying on that fact.
An online survey, which pretends to be from Bank of America, promises to pay you $50 for your opinions. But what it will really do is rob you blind.
"This is a phishing scam pure and simple," said Travis Ford with the Missouri Division of Finance.
The e-mail, supposedly from Bank of America, asks you to fill out an online survey. Six questions, two minutes and you'd get $50. The $50 amount was probably chosen by the scammers because it's small enough to seem believable.
At the bottom of the survey you're prompted for some unnecessary and personal information, like your Social Security, credit card and PIN numbers.
"The hallmark of the scam is the one that contacts you and says 'I need some personal information from you,'" said Ford. "They make themselves sound like someone important, like your bank or the IRS or the county courthouse."
Ford says in some cases banks can ask you to fill out online surveys. So how do you know what's real and what's bogus?
"Lots of reputable companies might send you online surveys," said Ford. "But they wouldn't need your credit card number or your Social Security number or your birth date. If there's just a survey or you're entering to win a contest there should be no strings attached, there should be no fee required to enter."
KRCG News checked with Bank of America and verified the e-mails are a phishing scam. They say no customer information has been compromised with this latest scam.
"With phishing, criminals will often send blanket messages to entire sets of phone numbers or e-mails," said a bank spokesperson. They're "hoping to find a legitimate customer who will then fall for the scam and provide personal information."
Customers who may have fallen victim are protected against any unauthorized transaction that are quickly reported, a bank spokesperson said.
Bank of America urges customers who've received the e-mails to report them to the bank's real Website, or forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org.