Friday, January 28, 2011

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Emails from McDonald's are making the rounds and it's very exciting.  Take a McDonald's survey and get $250 for participating.  The problem is, the email is not legitimate.  It was generated by cybercreeps who want to steal your information.

How it works:
1.  Take a 5 question survey
2.  To "win" your $250, provide your personal information AND your credit card so they will "credit" your account (warning!  warning!)

Tips to spot and avoid scams:
1.  Most surveys, if they offer everyone something, usually give you a nominal amount on a gift card or coupons for a free item
2.  If a company asks for your personal information along with credit card or bank account to "give" you money, it's most likely a scam
3.  Pay attention to the language used - does it sound like the company?  In this case, the message mentions that you are taking a "public opinion poll conducted by McDonald's, a non-partisan polling organization."  I appreciate the fact that the Golden Arches feels food should transcend political parties but that statement does not make sense.

Many thanks to Tony Bradley for highlighting this phishing scam!


"McDonald's Phishing Scam: I'm Not Lovin' It", Tony Bradley, PCWorld, January 21, 2011.

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