Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Survey says...don't fill it out

I got an e-mail supposedly from Wal-Mart the other day. It was a customer satisfaction survey. The subject line: "You have been selected!"

By completing this simple survey, it says, I was to receive $150. Not in credit at a Wal-Mart store, but $150 to my confirmed credit or debit card account.

OK, I might have been born in the day, but I wasn't born yesterday.

The survey isn't much of one. It asks how "Wal-Mart" rates in eight categories. There's also a question on how to improve its services. Then it wants my contact information, the best time to reach me, and if I want the Wal-Mart e-mail newsletter.

Then it gets down to the real purpose of the scam. The ask for account information, beginning with my credit card/debit card number, card expiration date, card issuing bank, card verification value, and PIN number.

Why don't I just make it easier and just mail in all available cash to your address? Where is it, Estonia, or Nigeria?

I called Wal-Mart's corporate offices in Bentonville, Ark. Shockingly, it's not legit.

"Sounds like telemarketing to me," said a customer representative. "We do not ask for personal information. We do have some surveys, but they are in-store. A lot of people use Wal-Mart's name to grab customers' attention."

She referred me to the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. I was in full tattle-tale mode, and spilled the beans.

"What they're doing is getting your credit card number," said an FTC official, "and guess what, they're going to have a ball with your credit card number."

I got the e-mail at work. What's kind of bothersome is no one else got it. It couldn't be that these scammers thought I was the only one that gullible, could it?

1 comment:

Boston Cullen said...

What I would like to know is how anyone who has an IQ high enough to use email (not Mensa mind you) would fall for these any more? You hear of people all the time who respond to these scams. I received one the other day that said it was from Hallmark and to open an "e-card" from a family member I needed to open an account with my cc number.

Now mind you, criminals are getting more and more cunning with their emails, why would someone even consider entering a cc number?

If a stranger walked up to your door in a blue vest and a smiley face sticker would we hand over your card? Of course not.

So who are these stupid people falling for this and how do we get them to move to Lubbock?