CUSTOMER SURVEY SCAMS: Something to Look Out For

Online Security

Customer surveys are one of the most common means for companies to build a personal relationship with their customers while measuring their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, there are those who use customer surveys to fool others. These scammers or identity thieves use the information they get from their victims to exploit their online accounts.

If you’ve been following Qeryz for a while now, you’d know that we’re the real deal, but how can you separate the legit from the liars? And how do we prevent this from happening to us? Let’s find out together, shall we?

How can you identify this type of online scam?

Think Safety

According to Better Business Bureau, the latest and most common examples of customer survey scams that make rounds involve emails from “leading retailers”. These emails often have subject lines that go something like, “Your Reward Points are Expiring. Claim Now!” or “Your eBalance Points are Expiring Soon!”

If you’re a frequent shopper at that particular store, there’s a high probability that you’ll view the email. More often than not, the email will say that you have been selected to complete a survey about your recent customer experience. It will also mention that you will receive $100 or more “bonus points” upon finishing the questionnaire. After completing the survey, the site will say that you are entitled for a prize, but it is currently “out of stock” and you are then instructed to choose one of several products – ranging from a weight loss kit to wrinkle cream.

In rare cases, some of these “surveys” will also ask for your bank account or credit card numbers, passwords, and other information that identity thieves can find useful. Such scams are often involve supermarkets, coffee shops, and smart phones and tablets, including offers seen on popular social media platforms like Facebook.

So how can you protect yourself from customer survey scams?

Online Scam

  1. Don’t immediately believe what you see

In the digital age, it is easy for scammers to steal the colors, logos, and headers of established and famous organization or business. On top of this, scammers can also make their email’s links appear genuine, as if they really lead to official websites with promises of numerous prizes.

Note that legitimate companies also ask customer experience after a purchase or transaction by sending a personalized email (meaning your name should be included). Remember not to trust unsolicited and out-of-the-blue inquiries, especially those that start with “Dear Customer”.

  1. Remember that legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information on customer surveys

It is a fact that legitimate businesses won’t ask for personal information in transactions. And even if you’re quite sure that the particular survey you’re participating in is not a scam, you should still read the business’ privacy policy nonetheless.

  1. Do a quick web search when still in doubt

Remember that whenever you’re in doubt with these “customer surveys”, the Internet is always available for double-checking. You may be able to find alerts or complaints from other consumers or even further information from the organization’s real website. You can also call the business’ official customer-service line and ask details about this supposed offer.

  1. Watch out for rewards that are too good to be true

More often than not, you only get the chance to win a gift card or receive a small discount from the next purchase if the survey is real. Only few businesses can afford to give away at 50-dollar gift cards just for answering a few questions.

  1. Beware of the “Act Now” urgency.

The biggest sign of a scam is when a particular instruction urges you to perform a quick action before you can have the time to think. Once you encounter something like this, it’s best to not proceed with the survey.

Take these tips with you every time you open your email and you’ll never be tricked into participating at something that will harm you. Now go and spread the knowledge to so others can also avoid customer survey scams.

Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz. A start-up, data analysis and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.

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