What would you do if a window pops up in your browser claiming to give you a $100 Walmart gift coupon once you filled out the application form? Go or No Go? More often than not it is a scam. Recently we have observed a spike in the number of such pages captured by our AI engine. Our advise to the users would be to stay away from them. These scams can be carried out in the following ways:

Survey Scams

You get an email or a text message from your friend with a link embedded in it. The message reads - 'An awesome opportunity to win a $200 Target gift card. Try your luck before the offer runs out'. It is probably a message that was forwarded to them. They ask you to fill a survey that will ask you for your personal details including your name, email address, phone number and physical address. After you fill the form, you will be redirected to a page tha twill ask you to forward this message to 10 other people before you can claim your winnings. It is never ending process and you will never receive the coupon you were looking for. You might wonder why were they asking for soo many details if they never intended to give you a coupon. It could be one of the following reasons:

  1. They collect user data and sell it for money
  2. They can use your personal contact details to try and scam you
  3. They could download a virus onto your machine once you click the submit button

How to avoid these survey scams

Do not open links that claim to be offering coupons unless they belong to the original vendor. For example if you get a message that reads 'Walmart disocunt coupon' from https[.]/www[.]walmtar[.]com, it means that the coupon is hosted on a domain named 'walmtar' which is not associated with Walmart.

If you accidentally open the web page, close the window. If you see pop-up window, close the window without clicking anywhere else on it. Any clicks on the window will generate more pop-ups and might download a malware onto your computer. We suggest you to use pop-up ad blockers.

If you see a survey, verify the legitimacy of the page. You could do that by checking the domain or by using Checkphish.ai. You can submit the url you received in the scan box and get a verdict in real time. We will let you know wether a link is a phish(unoriginal/ scam) or clean(safe).

Play a game scams

Recently, we are observing a spike in the number of these scams. The scammer sends you a link, asks you to play a game and share the page with your friends to receive the reward. These types of scams are similar to the survey scams. They are mostly clickbaits and might not ask you for your personal information.

Cold calling

Sometimes, you might receive a call saying you won a $100 gift card and claim it after answering a few questions. These question will be personal and the scammer will try to extract as much information form you as possible. They try to convince you that the offer is real. They are trained to make to make you believe. Do not reveal any personal details. They might ask you to answer the following:

  1. Name
  2. Email Address
  3. Age
  4. Credit/ debit card information