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Bank of Montreal 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) claims that it is conducting a customer survey and will credit $180 to the accounts of those willing to participate.

BMO Survey Phishing Scam


Brief Analysis
The email is not from the Bank of Montreal. The survey is not legitimate and participants will not receive the promised reward. The message is a phishing scam designed to steal personal and financial information from bank customers. If you receive such a message, do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains.

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Subject: Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customer Satisfaction Survey

At Bank of Montreal BMO, we sincerely value your opinions.
As part of our constinuous improvement process, we're conducting a survey to
benchmark the opinions of our customers. We will use the resulting
information to better serve all of our customers.

We kindly ask you to take part in our quick and easy reward survey.

In return we will credit $180.00 to your account - Just for your time!

Download and complete the survey form attached.

With the information collected we can decide to direct a number of changes
to improve and expand our services.

BMO Bank Of Montreal 2013

Detailed Analysis

According to this email, which claims to be from Canada's Bank of Montreal, bank customers can receive $180 just for participating in a customer satisfaction survey. Supposedly, as part of the bank's continuing improvement process, it wishes to "benchmark the opinions" of customers.

Recipients are urged to open an attached file containing the survey, fill it in, and submit it to have the $180 reward credited to their accounts.

However, the email is not from BMO and participants will certainly not receive $180 for filling in a survey. The survey is an attempt to trick people into divulging their sensitive personal and financial information to cybercriminals.

Those who fall for the ruse and open the attached file will first be asked to fill in a brief set of questions about the bank's service. Next, they will be asked to provide their Internet banking login details, credit card data, and contact information, ostensibly to allow their accounts to be credited with the survey reward. 

Alas, criminals will harvest all of the information submitted via the fake form. Once they have this information, the scammers can hijack the bank accounts belonging to their victims and conduct fraudulent transactions and money transfers. They can also commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

Companies may sometimes offer rewards or the chance to win a prize for customers willing to participate in a survey. However, they are very unlikely to offer a significant cash reward in exchange for filling in a tiny and generic survey. Nor would any legitimate financial institution expect customers to submit sensitive bank and credit card details via an unsecure form in an email attachment.

This is a very common ruse that has targeted customers of major banks and high profile companies all around the world. Any unsolicited email claiming that you can receive a large cash reward for participating in a survey should be treated as suspect. If you receive such a message, do not click on any links or open any attachments that it contains.

You can report BMO phishing scams such as this via the fraud reporting details on the bank's website.

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Last updated: June 25, 2013
First published: June 25, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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