Threat Management, Incident Response, TDR

Online scammers entice wannabe mystery shoppers to disclose personal data

Beware fake mystery shopper scams, warns a new McAfee Labs consumer alert, or the mystery may end up being, “Where did all my bank funds go?”

According to a McAfee blog post yesterday, criminal outfits are pretending to be retail chains looking for volunteer mystery shoppers willing to buy goods at the store and provide feedback. Victims are contacted via email, texts, online ads and job boards and snail mail, and are enticed with the promise of money. All they have to do is register for the program on a website, providing sensitive data such as names and Social Security numbers. Unfortunately, the site is fake, designed by cybercriminals to capture data needed to commit fraud and identity theft.

McAfee advised consumers to check with the store named in the offer to ensure the opportunity is legit. Also, individuals who receive a check in advance for their mystery shopping services should wait to see if it clears upon deposit before taking further action.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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