A spate of phishing mails purporting be from UK supermarkets, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco have been catching people out. The email messages promises gift cards of up to £100 for completing a marketing survey, which of course is a hoax.

The mails follow a fake email claiming to to be from Sainsbury’s and promising a £90 ‘promo reward’ for taking part in a marketing survey. It would appear that the same cyber criminals are behind both, given the similarity.

These are classic phishing email scams designed to gain your trust and send you on to potentially dangerous websites, where malware is downloaded onto your computer, or you are encouraged to part with personal information in order to enter the so-called promotion or receive a payment.
  • The ASDA phishing email is designed to make you follow the link by promising a £100 gift card in return for doing very little, simply completing a survey.
  • The Morrisons phishing mail is almost the same, but the ‘reward’ is £90. The Tesco mail is identical to the Morrisons version.
With so many people carrying out grocery shopping online its hardly surprising that well-known supermarket names are being used to try and scam people.

Be vigilant

Cyber criminals are a cunning bunch. If they weren’t online, they would be just as likely posing as gas and electricity officials on people’s doorstops trying to scam them.
  • If you happen to receive an email that is questionable, ask yourself whether the offer is too good to be true. If it is, then it’s a scam.
  • Take the Asda email as an example. Imagine if it was genuine and 100,000 people took up the offer of completing the survey. 100,000 people is a reasonable number, email marketing campaigns from large retailers often target many more.
  • It would mean that Asda is prepared to give away 100,000 £100 gift vouchers. So its just parted with £10 million.
How likely do you think that is? This is the question you need to ask. And if in serious doubt call the company in question and ask them.

And of course, don’t forget to use proven antimalware protection on your computer. It’s like the lock on your front door. You wouldn’t leave home without one, would you?