Did you receive emails from Costco asking you to complete an online survey in exchange for rewards? Take care. It’s a scam! Scammers send bogus emails purporting to be from Costco.
The “OK” button in the email could be a malicious or phishing link designed to trick you into sending personal or financial information to the scammers. Please do not click on any links.
A survey scam is typically a survey that is delivered via phone or online communication methods in order to collect the personal information of potential victims.
Fraudsters frequently tell their victims that completing the survey will result in a reward, such as entry into a “sweepstakes” to win a trip or cash prize, a “coupon” for a popular product or service, or a gift card.
By clicking on the link, you risk launching malware that will steal sensitive data from your device. In either case, the scammers obtain information that they can use to commit identity theft or sell to other bad actors.
Some major retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart, do offer gift cards as prizes for customers who complete online surveys about their shopping experiences, but those companies state that they will never ask participants to provide sensitive information.
How to protect yourself from survey scams
Be wary of surveys that offer expensive prizes such as an iPad or a cruise in exchange for completing the questionnaire, especially if they require payment for a shipping or processing fee.
On a survey solicitation, pay close attention to the sender’s email address. It’s a red flag if it’s from a free email service like Gmail, AOL, or Yahoo rather than a company domain.
Do an online search to see if a survey you received has a scam alert. Some businesses issue detailed warnings about how to identify scammers who pose as them.
Do not click on links or open attachments in a suspicious survey email or text.