Based on your report it looks like you may have been affected by a survey prize scam. This can happen through text message or email. Take a look at the information below for advice on what steps you should take to stay safe.
HOW THIS SCAM WORKS AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE:
If you’ve received a text message or email claiming you’ve been selected to take part in a survey, receive a prize or are eligible for a new phone for a minimal payment (often of $1), you might be the victim of a scam.
Netsafe has received many complaints about shopping prize and survey scams that claim to have come from well-known supermarkets such as Countdown, or even phone companies such as Vodafone or Spark.
These scams try to trick people into sharing payment information like credit card details claiming it’s to be used for the shipping of a prize (often a cellphone like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy). They’ll follow on to add bogus charges if you don’t stop them.
If you're unsure if the message has come from a scammer or not, our advice is to contact the company the message claims to have come from using their publicly listed contact information.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE RECEIVED THIS SCAM BY TEXT MESSAGE:
- Don’t respond to the message, and don’t open any links that might be included.
- If your mobile phone has features that allow you to block specific phone numbers from sending you text messages, block the scammers phone number.
You can check with your phone provider to see if your model of mobile phone supports this blocking feature.
- Delete the scam text message.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE RECEIVED THIS SCAM BY EMAIL:
- Don’t respond to the email, and don’t click on any links that might be included.
- Block the scammers email address. The simplest way to do this is to mark the email as junk mail.
When an email is marked as junk mail, your email filter will learn to redirect emails from that scammers email address away from your inbox.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE CLICKED ON THE LINK:
- Close the page the scam message lead you to.
- Check for malware on the device you were using at the time. Malware is malicious software such as a computer virus. You can use a free online scanner to look for threats on your computer.
- As an independent not-for-profit, Netsafe can’t recommend a particular product but we have listed some options here from well-known, reputable companies that are suitable for home computers.
For PC:ESET online scanner or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool. After this scan has been completed, you can run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free edition.
For Mac: Bitdefender Antivirus for MAC or ESET Cyber Security for Mac or AVG Antivirus for Mac are also good alternatives.
- If you’ve opened the link on your mobile phone you can contact your phone company for advice on how to check for and remove malware. Please be aware that this can include ‘factory resetting’ the device which will delete everything you have saved (including photos).
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE SHARED PRIVATE INFORMATION OR BANK DETAILS:
- If you have shared any bank account information you should report the incident to your bank immediately. This includes credit card information.
- If you have sent money using your credit card you can speak to your bank about applying for a charge back.
If you have sent money via an online money transfer platform (such as Bitcoin) the transaction is likely untraceable, and you may not be able to get your money back.
- If you have replied to the email with any sensitive personal information, this Identity Theft Checklistis a helpful guide on what could happen with your information. If you believe you may have been exposed to identity theft, we suggest you contact iDCare as they provide free help and support.
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