These unexpected emails, text messages and social media posts promise a generous gift card, coupon or actual products for sharing your opinions about planned purchases or a “recent shopping experience.” But beware: Links that are supposed to lead you to a survey often hide computer malware. And “questions” about personal or financial information — including bank and credit accounts for supposed reward deposits — could be a setup for future identity theft or to get you on scammer-shared sucker lists for future come-ons.
Before clicking on any link that looks like it’s from a well-known company, hover your computer mouse over the URL. If the address doesn’t display the company’s name before the “.com,” assume that it’s a scam or possible malware — because when legitimate vendors conduct surveys, they often lead back to the company website.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.