In May 2023, we reviewed a "Sam's Club Shopper Survey" email scam that promised a gift card or "promo reward" worth either $50 or $90, all for taking a short survey. This was not a legitimate giveaway or promotion from Sam's Club.
Any online users who followed the link in the email eventually found that this had little to do with Sam's Club, and a whole lot to do with scammers misleadingly roping people into being charged monthly fees for strange subscriptions.
The scam starts with the email about Sam's Club. Its subject line read, "Confirmation Needed." The message claimed that a "Sam's Club Shopper Survey" would provide a $50 gift card simply for taking a "30-second questionnaire."
We recommend caution around offers like these.
The message came from an email address that ended in @sendinblue.com and was routed through sightbanner.com. A real message from Sam's Club would come from an email address ending in @samsclub.com.
The link in the email led through several redirects and ended on herbonlinereward.com. After a short survey, the website presented several options to purchase various products for "free," purportedly with only shipping and handling needed to be paid. None of these items had anything to do with Sam's Club.
The "free" products included a RoboKleen Vacuum, iPad Pro, Everclean Portable Vacuum, Hi-Tech Wireless Ear Pods, 5.3K60 Sports Action Cam, Hair Halo Sonic Blow Dryer, Ring Video Doorbell, and a Ninja NeverDull Knife Set.
However, just about all of these offers were part of hidden subscription scams, the kind of scam where monthly subscription fees only appear on separate pages within the terms and conditions. Such scams often make no mention of these fees on the checkout page, even in the grand total. Many of them also don't include a box for customers to check off that would indicate they agree to abide by the terms.
In this case, the websites that hosted the hidden subscription scams included getqualitysavings.com, getqualityoffers.com, pixelmaxpro.com, peakproductzone.com, qualityexpressshop.com, premiumgadgetbargains.com, and specialtechdeals.com.
The website that hosted the page for the iPad Pro, premiumonlineshopper.com, did not mention subscription fees in its terms. However, the top of the page said in big letters that anyone looking at the page was a "winner." However, at the same time, the very bottom of the page said in very small letters that the user was simply the "winner" of a single entry into a sweepstakes that had not yet ended.
If any readers believe that they've been scammed by a hidden subscription scam, we recommend calling your credit card company (or whatever financial institution you paid with) immediately to let them know. A new card number may be needed to ensure no more unauthorized charges are placed on the compromised card.
Generally, if any readers believe they have been the victim of fraud, we recommend filing a report with the FTC.
Always remember with online scams that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.