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Issue 158 - July, 2013 (2nd Edition) - Page 26

Browser and Operating System Survey Scam

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Outline
Links in various spam emails point to a website that claims that recipients cam win an expensive prize in exchange for filling in an "opinion survey" about the browser and operating system that they are using.

Online Survey Scam

© Depositphotos.com/ icetray



Brief Analysis
The website is a survey scam. After filling in a brief initial survey, users are told they must subscribe to a ridiculously expensive text messaging service before being entered in the supposed prize draw. The survey's real purpose is to trick people into subscribing to the text messaging services. Do not trust any marketing entity that promotes itself via spam emails and suspect online surveys.

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Example

Subject: Someone just sent you a Wal-Mart Card [1000USD]

Someone just sent you a Wal-Mart Card [1000USD]


Detailed Analysis


Various spam messages currently hitting inboxes are designed to entice users into participating in bogus online surveys and competitions. Links in the spam messages open a website that claims to host an "Opinion Survey" related to the user's browser and operating system. Users are promised the chance to win an expensive prize such as an iPad or laptop computer in exchange for participating.

The subject of the spam messages may not be directly related to the survey scams they point to. The version used during research for this article claimed that "someone" has sent the user a Wal-Mart Gift Card worth $1000. Alternative versions may have other subjects.

Those who fall for the ruse in the spam emails and click the link will be taken to a bogus survey page similar to the one depicted in the following screen shot.

Chrome Browser Survey Scam

The exact appearance and wording of the bogus page will depend on the browser and operating system the participant is using. The above screenshot shows what is displayed for a participant using the Chrome browser on a Mac computer and includes the Chrome logo. A Windows user might see the following version instead:

IE Survey Scam

The scam page also attempts to make itself seem more legitimate by displaying the name of the region the user is in. It does this by ascertaining the user's, or his or her service provider's, location via the computer's IP address.

After victims fill in a brief and meaningless survey about the browser they are using, they will be told that they must enter their mobile phone number into an online form to go in the draw for the promised prize. However, by entering their phone number, users are in fact subscribing to an absurdly expensive text messaging service that is charged at several dollars per text sent as well as an initial joining fee. Such SMS subscriptions are notoriously difficult to unsubscribe from and users can quickly run up large bills. The real goal of this scam is to get people to subscribe. The actual survey has no purpose other than to lure people to the SMS subscription page.

These spam/scam campaigns are operated by unscrupulous online marketers who make a profit each and every time a user subscribes.

Do not trust any marketer who uses spam messages and bogus surveys to promote their products or services. If you find yourself on one of these survey scam websites, do not provide any information about yourself or download any applications.

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Last updated: July 1, 2013
First published: July 1, 2013
Written by Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Facebook Survey Scams



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Issue 158 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Capri Sun Mold Warning
  2. False Child Abduction Alert - 'Lilly Snatched From Surrey'
  3. Gas Saving Tips - Are They Really Saving You Anything?
  4. China Food Imports - Is It Really That Simple?
  5. Jury Duty Phone Scam Warning
  6. Myth - Ice Water Can Cause Dangerous Bloating in DogsD
  7. Amazon 'Important Message From Security Center' Phishing Scam
  8. Hoax: Facebook to Start Charging This Summer
  9. Kmart Australia Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  10. Do Water Filled Zip-Lock Bags with Added Pennies Keep Flies Away?
  11. Photos of Old Car Collection Found in Portugal Barn
  12. Faux Image - Mounted Police Officer Riding Giant Dog
  13. Expedia Travel Itinerary Malware Email
  14. 'Google Account Hacked' Text Message Scam
  15. Completely Pointless and Misleading 'Facebook Privacy Notice'
  16. Hoax - Pope Benedict XVI Resigned Papacy to Convert to Islam
  17. Wonga.com 'Account Error' Phishing Scam
  18. Hoax Warning Claims Deadly Swine Flu Epidemic in South Africa
  19. Australian Government Withdrawing Funds From Inactive Accounts Warning
  20. 'Facebook Has Sent You a Message' Pharmacy Spam
  21. Pepsi Cola Bottling Company 'Grant Compensation' Advance Fee Scam
  22. Does a Viral Image Depict a Monkey Saving a Puppy From An Explosion?
  23. Advance Fee Scammers Using Cloned FB Accounts To Gain Victims
  24. South African 'Mighty Men' Conferences Racial Integration Hoax
  25. Did Samsung Pay a $1 Billion Fine to Apple in 5 Cent Coins?
  26. Browser and Operating System Survey Scam
  27. Circulating Message Falsely Accuses Pictured Man of Being a Human Trafficker