Outline Email purporting to be from Australia's Westpac Bank claims that the recipient can have $35 credited to their account in exchange for filling in a short survey contained in an attached file.
The email is not from Westpac. The bogus survey in the attached file is designed to trick recipients into divulging their credit card details and other personal information to cybercriminals.
Westpac Bank will add $35.00 AUD credit to your account just for taking part in our quick 5 question survey.
Download Survey and complete the form.It's fast and easy!
[Screenshots of attached HTML file]
This email, which purports to be from large Australian bank, Westpac, promises recipients an easy $35 just for participating in a "quick 5 question survey." To receive the $35, recipients are asked to open an attached HTML file which opens in their web browser. As the above screenshots reveal, recipients are then asked to fill in the "survey" as well as provide a large amount of personal information. They are also asked to provide credit card details, ostensibly so that the promised survey fee can be credited to their accounts.
However, the email is certainly not from Westpac and the promised survey fee is nothing more than the bait designed to trick unsuspecting recipients into handing over their details to Internet criminals. Those who fill in the bogus form and click the "Submit" button will in fact be sending their personal information directly to phishing scammers. Once they have collected their victim's information, these criminals can use it to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.
Such survey phishing scams have become a common scammer ruse in recent years. Similar fake survey offers have falsely claimed to come from numerous other high profile companies and institutions, including McDonald's, Coca Cola and the UK Post Office. Other versions take a more generic approach by claiming to be a random survey conducted by a marketing company.
Some versions, including this one, put the bogus survey in an attached file, apparently in an effort to avoid browser phishing protection mechanisms. Others contain a link to a bogus website that includes the fake survey.
Users should be wary of any unsolicited message that promises them a sizable cash payment for participating in an insignificant survey. No company is ever likely to offer such sums to large numbers of participants in exchange for filling in such brief surveys. Moreover, no legitimate company is ever likely to ask recipients to submit personal and financial information via an unsecure web form, be it contained in an attached file or hosted on a website. If you receive one of these bogus survey offers, do not open any attachments or follow any links that it may contain. Do not reply to the email.