IT security and data protection firm Sophos is warning computer
users to be cautious following the discovery of a widespread spam
campaign that is promising cash in return for completing a
McDonald's customer satisfaction survey. The emails, claiming to be
sent by 'McDonald's Survey Department' and with the subject line
'McDonald's Customer Survey' direct recipients to the survey that
poses questions on McDonald's food.
Once the survey has been completed, computer users are asked to
provide a raft of personal information, including their credit card
number and security code, so that they can receive a $90 payment
for taking the time to complete the questions.
"Exploiting online surveys is a popular way for scammers to make
money as legitimate customer satisfaction surveys are increasingly
common," said Graham
Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Although it's
not unusual to be offered a reward or the chance of a prize for
completing an online survey, a legitimate questionnaire will never
ask you to part with your card details. I'm afraid anyone hoping to
receive the cash from this survey is more likely to have their
account emptied by the spammers."
Sophos believes that some users may be more likely to hand over
their information to the scammers behind the McDonald's phish.
"It's ironic that some internet users may actually be more
likely to hand over their credit card information because they are
more used to receiving phishing emails pretending to come from
online banks, not burger joints," explained Cluley. "The truth is,
however, that phishers can use a multitude of disguises - posing
not just as online banks, but social networks, online stores, web
email providers and now fast food giants too."
Sophos recommends that companies protect themselves with a
consolidated solution which can defend against the threats of spam,
hackers, spyware and viruses.
Learn more about the attack by reading Chet Wisniewski's