Scammers are sending fake 'store' surveys and impersonating Amazon. Here's what to watch out for.

Fake survey scams have been cropping up as shoppers pounce on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, the Better Business Bureau warns.

Scammers send you a text message that appears to be from a well-known chain store offering a free product, discount or gift card to anyone who completes a survey, according to a news release by the BBB. Many of them state that it is a limited-time offer so you’ll need to act fast if you want to receive your gift, the BBB says.

If you click the link, instead of going onto the store’s official website, it will take you to a third-party website where you’ll be asked to fill out a form with personal information, such as your full name, address, email and more, the BBB adds.

By clicking on the link, you may even download malware onto your device, giving scammers access to even more personal information.

While this scam has a Black Friday and Cyber Monday twist, the BBB advises that you watch out for similar survey scams this entire holiday season.

Amazon shoots to the top of most impersonated brands in BBB rankings

A 2020 report by the BBB found a massive spike in online scams as COVID-19 accelerated the move towards online shopping.

Scams didn’t just affect older people—for the first time, adults ages 18 to 24 reported the highest median losses of $150, the same as adults over 65 years old, the BBB report found.

Of all the different kinds of scamming techniques, the ones involving “online purchase” was ranked as the riskiest by the BBB.

Amazon shot up to the No. 2 spot for most impersonated brands, with 771 reported scams related to Amazon in 2020, according to data from the BBB. The only organization to top Amazon was the Social Security Administration, which was used 1,467 times by scammers in 2020.

More online scams during the holidays:Here’s how to spot them before it’s too late

News? Check. Sass? Check.:Sign up for the only evening news roundup you’ll ever need.

Other organizations that the BBB identified in common scams include Publishers Clearing House, Apple, Microsoft, PayPal, Medicare and Walmart.

Tips from the BBB to avoid fake survey scams

To avoid getting duped, the BBB has released a series of tips for identifying these kinds of survey scams:

  1. Unsolicited text messages are usually not from trustworthy sources. Reputable businesses will get your permission to send you a text before sending anything to your inbox. Fake texts often contain suspicious-looking links and contain typos and other errors, too.
  2. Watch out for rewards that sound too good to be true. If someone offers you a valuable product or gift card in exchange for completing a two-minute survey, it’s probably a scam.
  3. Limited time offers could be a red flag. Scammers often use a sense of urgency to get their victims to hand over valuable information without thinking.
  4. Remember that scammers conceal their identity. Many scam surveys are very vague about their purpose and who is running them. If you can’t figure out who or where the survey is coming from, don’t take it.
  5. Do some research. If you aren’t sure about a survey, do an internet search to find out more information. Look for links to the survey on a business’s official website.

Michelle Shen is a Money & Tech Digital Reporter for USA TODAY. You can reach her @michelle_shen10 on Twitter.

News Related


In mourning yet again, NYC prepares to honor fallen officer

© Provided by Associated Press Members of National Action Network pray during a news conference near the scene of shooting in Harlem section of Manhattan on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, ... Read more »

Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue proposes an election police force to investigate voter fraud

© Jessica McGowan/Getty Images Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images GOP gubernatorial nominee David Perdue proposed a new election police unit in Georgia, per the AJC. Perdue, ... Read more »

Texas DPS special agent killed during ‘tragic accident’ at border

A Texas Department of Public Safety agent working “tactical operations” at the U.S.-Mexico border died Saturday after a “tragic accident.” Anthony Salas, 37, died at University Hospital in San Antonio ... Read more »

Chelsea FC 0-0 Tottenham LIVE! Premier League match stream, latest score and goal updates today

LIVE – Updated at 16:44 Chelsea FC vs Tottenham LIVE! A draw to Brighton in their last match means Chelsea have won none of their last four Premier League matches, ... Read more »

Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool: Reds close Man City lead to nine points

Liverpool took on Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon in their bid to push for the Premier League title The Reds were dominant in the first-half, scoring through Virgil van Dijk and ... Read more »

10 Deals on Apple Products and Accessories

Apple is well-known for being a pioneer in tech. And while Apple makes many useful products for entrepreneurs, they aren’t exactly for the frugal-minded. However, if you’re willing to buy ... Read more »

Rams vs Buccaneers live stream: how to watch NFL playoff online without cable, start time, channel

A star-studded affair at the Ray Jay sees the Rams visit the home of the reigning champions, and though they have a healthy Tom Brady at center, the otherwise injury-hit ... Read more »

Chelsea vs. Tottenham live score, updates, highlights from Premier League match

© Provided by Sporting News Chelsea humbled Tottenham across both legs of the EFL Cup semifinals just a few weeks ago, but the Blues’ league form is seriously compromised, and Tottenham ... Read more »

Done deal: Christian Eriksen returns to Premier League 2 years later with Brentford

Christian Eriksen is definitely returning to the soccer field after suffering a heart attack during the European Championship last summer, and he will continue his career in the Premier League. ... Read more »

Fantasy Rugby League 2022: Top five point scorers in 2021

Love Rugby League’s Fantasy Rugby League game is now live for the 2022 season. The Super League game is now open for you to make your team choice. Pick your ... Read more »

Sparks will lose Nia Coffey in free agency

And then there was one – Amir. The Coffey family’s foothold in L.A. – Nia Coffey and her younger brother, Amir Coffey, playing for the Sparks and Clippers, respectively – ... Read more »

Twister Sisters Before The Storm: Baylor

Last Time Out The short-handed Cyclones took on 15th-ranked Texas, in what could be a huge win for either team. The Cyclones hung around in the first half, but Texas ... Read more »

Neon Museum of Philadelphia shines a light on new exhibit

© Provided by Metro Neon Museum of Philadelphia The Neon Museum of Philadelphia has a bright history.  The venue, located at 1800 N. American St., was established in 1983, but ... Read more »

Best headphones in 2022: Which headphones are right for you?

Great headphones can completely change your music listening experience, but there are so many models out there, that it can be very difficult to find the best headphones for your ... Read more »

NASA's James Webb telescope is about to arrive at an exceptional point in space

© NASA/Bill Ingalls NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope aboard a rocket launched in December 2021. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is approaching its new home. On January 24, it ... Read more »

Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta accused of racist gesture in ECHL hockey game

Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing after being accused of making a racist gesture toward the South Carolina Stingrays’ Jordan Subban during Saturday night’s ... Read more »

5 ways to bring your digital photos into the real world

© Soragrit Wongsa / Unsplash You can print your digital photos, then take a photo of them, and then print that, if you really want. This story has been updated. ... Read more »

Guitarist Don Wilson, last surviving founder of surf-rock pioneers The Ventures, dies at 88

Don Wilson, the last surviving founder and guitarist of pioneering surf-rock group The Ventures, has died at 88, his representative confirmed to USA TODAY. “Don was an inspiration and mentor. ... Read more »

NYC mayor says he will reinstitute modified plainclothes police anti-gun unit

© Getty Images New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) on Sunday said he is planning to reinstitute a modified plainclothes anti-gun unit ... Read more »

These Heavy-Duty Workout Sandbags Will Make You Look and Feel Tough as Hell

Table of Contents The Best Workout Sandbags The Best Sandbag Workouts It’s usually around now, a few weeks into January, that those once-lofty, aspirational New Year’s resolutions encounter a bit ... Read more »

New conservative target: Race as factor in COVID treatment

© Provided by Associated Press FILE – Nurse manager Edgar Ramirez checks on IV fluids while talking to a COVID-19 patient at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles, ... Read more »

When is Super Bowl 2022: Date, TV channel, halftime show, time, live stream for NFL Super Bowl LVI

The NFL Playoffs are underway which means that Super Bowl 2022 is right around the corner. NBC Sports has you covered with all you need to know about the Big ... Read more »

Here Are the Conference Championship Matchups: TV Schedule, Start Times, Game Info

© Provided by Sports Illustrated The Bengals and 49ers are riding upset victories into conference championship weekend. View the original article to see embedded media. Despite earning the No. 1 ... Read more »

Zach Aston-Reese, Louis Domingue dealing with injuries

© Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images Ahead of the Penguins’ game vs. the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena, head coach Mike Sullivan announced injuries ... Read more »

Supercross 2022: Results and points after Round 3 in San Diego

The Monster Energy Supercross Round 3 results reveal a third winner as Chase Sexton grabbed the lead on Lap 4 and never looked back. It was Sexton’s first 450 SX ... Read more »

4 reasons to consider booking your next hotel stay through an online travel agency

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. Although conventional wisdom is ... Read more »

Fauci says he's confident most states reach peak of omicron in mid-February

© Greg Nash Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the NIAID, answers questions during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Jan. ... Read more »

The agony and ecstasy of Miranda's coming out in the 'Sex and the City' reboot

Miranda Hobbes’ sexual awakening in “And Just Like That…” has given queer critics and fans, in particular, plenty to talk about. Read more »

To mandate or not: How businesses are weathering the SCOTUS decision

© Provided by USA TODAY Supreme Court blocks COVID-19 vaccine mandates for businesses On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: With the recent Supreme Court ruling barring a federal ... Read more »

NYC Mayor Adams to unveil crime strategy this week

New York City will go after the “underlying reasons” for a recent series of shocking crimes — including the murder of a police officer and a fatal subway shoving — ... Read more »

Did Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Hinder Europe's EV Battery Supply?

© Photo: Oliver Bunic/AFP (Getty Images) Protests in the Serbian capital of Belgrade Professional tennis has a strong commercial association with the automobile industry. Many famous players sign lucrative multi-year ... Read more »

The delta variant is infecting placentas, likely causing stillbirths

© Provided by Salon Ultrasound; Pregnancy; COVID-19 Ultrasound pregnancy examination of a young woman in a Medical Clinic during COVID-19 outbreak Getty Images While the world is now suffering a ... Read more »

Fauci optimistic omicron will peak in February

1-on-1 with Dr. Anthony Fauci See more videos What to watch next Secretary of State Antony Blinken talks meeting with Russia's foreign minister Secretary of State Antony Blinken talks meeting ... Read more »

Kanye West and Julia Fox Make Red Carpet Debut In Paris

Lovers in Paris! Kanye “Ye” West and Julia Fox stepped out for their first event as a couple. On Sunday, the 44-year-old rapper and the Uncut Gems actress attended the ... Read more »

Mariska Hargitay's Hair Evolution on Law & Order: SVU

Happy Birthday Mariska Hargitay!: E! News Rewind See more videos What to watch next Ximena Is Unhappy With “Super Gross” Mike in This 90 Day Fiancé Sneak Peek “90 Day ... Read more »

Free Microsoft Office? You can actually get Word, Excel and PowerPoint for $0

© Provided by CNET You can use Microsoft Office apps for free. Josh Miller/CNET You’ll likely need access to a Microsoft Word document, a PowerPoint presentation or the product of ... Read more »

Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator, says it was 'absolutely' appropriate for Sen. Kyrtsen Sinema to be censured

© CNN Bernie Sanders speaks on CNN’s State of the Union, Sunday, January 23. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday it was appropriate for the Arizona Democratic Party to censure ... Read more »

How to tune a car right: Part 3, tuning Mopar with OST Dyno

Not long ago, I wrote a story about a pony car tuned with a supercharger. The blower install had been done properly. Then the car’s owner bolted on a set ... Read more »

The Science—and Styles—Behind Dopamine Dressing in 2022

A few months ago I joined countless avowed lifelong New Yorkers and moved to Los Angeles, whereupon I discovered that I hated all my clothes. Mostly these were the things ... Read more »

Ferrari 296 GTB Squalo By DMC Is V6 Powered Excellence

© Copyright Ferrari 296 GTB Squalo By DMC Is V6 Powered Excellence A true predator for the road. The Ferrari 296 GTB is even out yet, and tuners are ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic