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Scammers are sending fake ‘store’ surveys and impersonating Amazon: Here’s what to watch out for

  • November 29, 2021

scams have been cropping up as shoppers pounce on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, the Better Business Bureau warns.

Scammers send you a text message that appears to be from a well-known chain store offering a free product, discount or gift card to anyone who completes a survey, according to a news release by the BBB. Many of them state that it is a limited-time offer so you’ll need to act fast if you want to receive your gift, the BBB says.

If you click the link, instead of going onto the store’s official website, it will take you to a third-party website where you’ll be asked to fill out a form with personal information, such as your full name, address, email and more, the BBB adds.

online scams as COVID-19 accelerated the move toward online shopping.Here’s how to spot them before it’s too late

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Other organizations that the BBB identified in common scams include Publishers Clearing House, Apple, Microsoft, PayPal, Medicare and Walmart.

Tips from the BBB to avoid fake survey scams

To avoid getting duped, the BBB has released a series of tips for identifying these kinds of survey scams:

  1. Unsolicited text messages are usually not from trustworthy sources. Reputable businesses will get your permission to send you a text before sending anything to your inbox. Fake texts often contain suspicious-looking links and contain typos and other errors too.
  2. Watch out for rewards that sound too good to be true. If someone offers you a valuable product or gift card in exchange for completing a two-minute survey, it’s probably a scam.
  3. Limited-time offers could be a red flag. Scammers often use a sense of urgency to get their victims to hand over valuable information without thinking.
  4. Remember that scammers conceal their identity. Many scam surveys are very vague about their purpose and who is running them. If you can’t figure out who or where the survey is coming from, don’t take it.
  5. Do some research. If you aren’t sure about a survey, do an internet search to find out more information. Look for links to the survey on a business’s official website.

Michelle Shen is a Money Tech Digital Reporter for USA TODAY. You can reach her @michelle_shen10 on Twitter. 

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