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By 3 September 2010 | Categories: news

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Online security firm Sophos is warning computer users to be cautious following the discovery of a widespread spam campaign that is promising cash in return for completing a McDonald's customer satisfaction survey.  
 
The emails, claiming to be sent by “McDonald's Survey Department” and with the subject line ‘McDonald's Customer Survey’ direct recipients to the survey that poses questions on McDonald's food.
 
Once the survey has been completed, computer users are asked to provide a raft of personal information, including their credit card number and security code, so that they can receive a $90 payment for taking the time to complete the questions.
 
"Exploiting online surveys is a popular way for scammers to make money as legitimate customer satisfaction surveys are becoming increasingly common," says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.
 
 "While it is not unusual to be offered a reward for completing an online survey, a legitimate questionnaire will never ask you to part with your credit card details.  Anyone falling for the scam is more likely to have their bank account emptied by the spammers."
 
Sophos believes that some users may be more likely to hand over their information to the scammers behind the McDonald's phish.
 
"Ironically, some internet users may be more likely to hand over their credit card information in these instances because they’re more used to receiving phishing emails pretending to come from online banks. Phishers use a multitude of disguises - posing not just as online banks, but social networks, online stores, web email providers and now fast food giants too."
 
Sophos recommends that companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend against the threats of spam, hackers, spyware and viruses.

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