21 February 2014

Be wary of phishing emails or social media posts claiming to offer financial rewards for completing surveys.

Phishing emails and social media posts that mimic well-known Australian brands are regularly circulated by scammers seeking to capture your personal information or credit card details.

Unfortunately, the scams continue to circulate because a small percentage of people still fall victim to them. If you have family or friends who could benefit from understanding how to spot scams, you should share this information.

This example is a long running scam that attempts to appeal broadly to customers of Woolworths, Westpac and ANZ.

From: Woolworths bleu1t [at] linga.com
Sent: Thursday, 20 February 2014 5:42 AM
To: Recipients
Subject: Rewards for your fidelity

Westpac and ANZ Survey Department in conjunction with Woolworths selected you to take part in our quick survey.
To earn your $150 reward, please click here.

Giveaway signs include:

  • It is an unsolicited email from an unknown email address.
  • The message is sent to “Recipients”. Your name and email address is not specified in the email “To:” field, or in the email message.

If you mistakenly click on the link you are taken to a webpage which carries Woolworths’ logo and design, but is obviously a fake.

Screen grab of fake Woolworths survey page including Woolworths logo and banner

Giveaway signs include:

  • A suspicious address/URL which is not related to Woolworths, ANZ or Westpac.
  • The page makes an enticing offer for payment which is probably unrealistic.
  • The survey requests your credit card and personal information.
  • The survey is suspiciously short, quickly asking for credit card information.
  • The title of the page is incomplete; “Wool”.

 

Woolworths has previously provided advice about this type scam.

Reputable organisations will not ask for your personal information or credit card details in unsolicited messages. Any organisation should provide means for you to cross check their promotions and competitions on their website which you can find independently.

While this is an obvious example, other scams can be more sophisticated, using more convincing messages and less obvious giveaway signs.

What should you do?

Always be suspicious of unsolicited emails. Do not click links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or messages. Your best advice is to simply delete it.

Ensure your security software is up to date. This will help protect you against any malware that may be attached to a spam message or downloaded by visiting malicious websites.

If you think you might be affected by malware, use your security software to run a scan of your computer. You may also choose to seek specific technical advice from your local support provider.

If you are uncertain about an email you can always cross check the information, by independently visiting the organisation’s website or contacting them over the phone..

More information

Stay Smart Online has previously warned about phishing emails targeting customers from Woolworths and Westpac.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.

Feedback

Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.

Disclaimer

This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

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