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Consumer affairs cautions against email scam

Consumer affairs cautions against email scam

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2011 8:03 pm

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Consumer Affairs division is urging consumers to be wary of emails that request participation in a survey and that promise a gift card in return. Participants who respond to such a survey and enter personal information often find that, instead of receiving a gift card, they receive calls from telemarketers. The scammers send an email with a set of questions in a survey format. The emails sometimes will include a company logo and copyright of a retail chain or fast food restaurant, making the survey seem legitimate.
Through the survey, the scammers attain participants’ email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses.
“Scammers posing as retail chains or fast food restaurants are luring victims with false promises of a free gift card,” Consumer Affairs Director Gary Cordell said. “Emails mimicking legitimate communication from these companies have led consumers to believe they would receive a prize after completing an online survey.”
“This is a scam that gives scammers access to your information and allows them to target you with nonstop telemarketing calls,” Cordell said. “Retailers and fast food restaurants occasionally ask consumers to complete a survey after a purchase is made, to rate the company and the buying experience. However, they do not contact you before a purchase is made.”
To stop harassing telemarketing calls, register your phone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry by visiting https://www.donotcall.gov.  Consumer Affairs (www.tn.gov/consumer/) is a division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance (www.tn.gov/commerce/), which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.

wcp 9/22/11

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