Phishing bait: E-mail from the IRS offers $80 to recipients who complete “member satisfaction surveys.”
Example: [Collected on the Internet, August 2007]
Origins: Most of us really like getting something for nothing, even if the “something” is of modest value. Businesses sometimes take advantage of this prediliction through means such as enclosing crisp
So, a mailing that promised a whopping $80 for recipients who took a few minutes to fill out an
You’ve been selected to take part in our quick and easy 8 question Please spare two minutes of your time and take part in our online survey so we
survey. In return we will credit $80.00 to your account — Just for your time!
can improve our services. Don’t miss this chance to change something.
You’ve been selected to take part in our quick and easy 8 question
Please spare two minutes of your time and take part in our online survey so we
But … it all sounds too good to be true. Eighty dollars is a lot of money to offer people for filling out a simple eight-question survey asking them
to rate IRS customer service aspects such as courtesy, friendliness, and speed of service, especially when many of the respondents likely haven’t had much significant interaction with the sponsoring agency. (If only 100,000 recipients responded, the IRS would be on the hook to pay out $8,000,000 for those responses, many of them likely coming from taxpayers who have had no contact with the IRS beyond simply mailing in a few forms every year.) And what’s with that “Member Satisfaction Survey” legend on the supposed IRS web form displayed above? Taxpayers might be considered “customers” of the IRS (even though they don’t have much choice in the matter), but “members” is a bit of stretch.
Alas, this is merely yet another phishing scheme designed to steal personal information, in this case credit card numbers provided by unwary respondents expecting
Last updated: 29 August 2007