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No, the Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey is not legit but an internet survey scam.
The “Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey Scam” is a scheme that is run on a variety of websites that are designed to mislead users. Users are led to believe that they would receive a prize if they participate in a survey regarding their experiences using mobile devices; nevertheless, this is a hoax.
The objective of the fraudulent scheme known as “Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey” is to deceive people into viewing or using a variety of websites that are untrustworthy and harmful. In most cases, false web pages are reached inadvertently; the majority of users land on them as a result of typos in the URL, redirects brought about by annoying advertisements, or having PUAs installed on their computers that force them to open (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
It is interesting to note that the “Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey” scheme has been observed to be promoted through spam mail with a Verizon-related theme (email subject “you are the chosen one!” [recipient’s email address]; may vary).
What is Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey?
It is rumored that Verizon Communications Inc., a multinational American telecommunications conglomerate, is the entity responsible for organizing and running this prize giveaway. It is imperative that it be underlined that this scheme is in no way connected to Verizon, and that all of the claims made by it are erroneous.
The “Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey” scam invites consumers to report about their mobile experiences by conducting a survey. The program guarantees that participants who respond to the questionnaire will receive a “promo prize” with a value of at least ninety dollars as a way of saying “thank you” for their participation.
The fraud makes the claim that it has already distributed rewards with a total value of 4 million USD. When consumers have finished answering all of the questions in the survey, they are shown a list of “special incentives.”
When visitors make an attempt to claim one of the prizes, they are taken to websites that are both deceptive and potentially hazardous. Phishing websites, which are websites that are intended to record the information that is entered into them and then utilize that information for malicious reasons, are the primary focus of this online operation.
Names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are all examples of data that fall under this category. The information that is gathered can either be sold to third parties (perhaps other hackers) or used to construct more targeted and tailored con jobs.
The pages that have been endorsed also have products that can be downloaded for free or purchased. In the first scenario, customers are still required to pay a variety of fees and costs (e.g., shipping, registration, subscription, etc.). Phishing schemes, which are carried out using questionable payment gateways, are typically utilized by websites of this kind.
Therefore, any financial information (such as the details of a bank account, credit card numbers, and so on) that is submitted to them will be disclosed to the con artists. After then, one might use this information to conduct fraudulent activities or make unauthorized purchases online.
Sites that are centered on promotions or sales, such as those that are endorsed by the fraudulent “Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey” program, often do not have the things that they offer for sale. Even if they do succeed and users receive the things, it is quite possible that the items are of poor quality, counterfeit, and/or unsafe to use or ingest in any way.
To summarize, users who fall for the “Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey” scam run the risk of suffering major breaches of privacy, significant money losses, identity theft, and other serious issues. PUAs have the capability of forcibly opening fraudulent as well as other unpleasant pages, as was described in the beginning.
These applications may have a wide variety of features, which may be arranged in a wide variety of configurations. PUAs that are of the adware variety distribute invasive advertisements.
They make web browsing less enjoyable and are a potential risk to the safety of devices and users. When clicked on, intrusive adverts will take you to malicious websites, and some of these websites may covertly download and install software on your computer.
PUAs, also known as browser hijackers, carry out their malicious activities by modifying browser settings and obstructing users’ access to those settings in order to advertise phony search engines. In most cases, the marketed online searchers are unable to offer search results; instead, they send users to legitimate search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
The majority of PUAs are able to track data. They keep tabs on your internet activity and gather sensitive information gleaned from it, such as IP addresses, geolocations, and other personally identifiable facts. The data that is collected is then used to generate revenue by being given to third parties or being sold to them.
As a result, it is essential to uninstall all potentially malicious software as well as browser extensions and plug-ins as soon as they are discovered.
Other Scams Similar to Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey
Some instances of fraud that are almost identical to “Verizon Free Watch/iPhone Survey” include “Home Improvement Reward,” “Mobile Survey Reward,” “ONLINE BANK Reward,” “Shipping Survey Reward,” “Onlinemart Reward,” and “PayApp Reward.”
The stuff that may be found on the internet frequently contains false information, is malevolent, or both. Scams are particularly prevalent on the internet, and they utilize a variety of strategies to defraud individuals after they’ve gained their trust.
Popular models for scams include: phony incentive giveaways, hoax lotteries, notifications that a critical piece of software is outdated or missing, warnings that the device is diseased or at risk, and so on. These models are used to trick users into handing over their personal information.
In spite of any claims to the contrary, the main purpose of schemes is to create profit at the expense of their victims. Because of the prevalence of cons on the internet, users are highly encouraged to practice extreme vigilance whenever they are browsing.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs can have “official” web pages for promoting and distributing their products and services. These apps can also be obtained by downloading and installing them as part of another program’s installation package.
“Bundling” is a marketing ploy in which standard software is bundled with undesired or dangerous add-ons. The chance of mistakenly allowing bundled content into the system increases when the download/installation process is rushed (e.g., ignored terms, used pre-set settings, etc.).
PUAs are also promoted through intrusive marketing. It is possible for advertisements to trigger scripts to download and install software without the user’s consent.
How to avoid the installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Prior to downloading, installing, or purchasing any software, it is essential to perform some research on it. In addition, all downloads must be made through official and authenticated sites.
Other third-party downloaders, such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P networks, and P2P networks, often offer bundled content that makes them untrustworthy. Care must be taken when downloading and installing software.
There are a lot of phrases and options to be aware of, so it’s best to read all of them and utilize the “Custom” or “Advanced” settings wherever possible. Despite the fact that these advertisements appear to be innocent, they lead to a variety of dangerous and unreliable websites (e.g., gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so forth).
How To Identify A Fake Survey?
As it turns out, it isn’t that difficult to spot a bogus survey. If you notice any of these red flags, you should be on the lookout for any evidence of possible fraud. We’ve developed a list of warning signals to assist you avoid internet scams:
Brimming with low-quality writing
A survey with poorly-written content is a strong indicator that it is a hoax. Scammers sometimes work on multiple frauds at the same time, so it’s unlikely that they’ll devote much attention to each one. As a result, the language used in these polls is of low quality. Look for obvious errors in spelling and grammar—keep your eyes open and you’ll find them.
There are a number of ways to engage in market research surveys, but here are some of the more common methods: Once you complete the survey, you’ll get a 25% discount on your next purchase. When you click the button, however, you are taken to another survey where you are asked to provide information about a hardware store.
You’re still here, and you’ve finished the survey. To wrap things off, you’re taken to a page announcing a $1,000 electronic prize, which may be anything from an iPad to a MacBook. Inconsistencies are obvious, aren’t they? The scammer went from a 25% discount to a $1,000 gift prize in no time. Exit the survey as soon as you notice this warning.
Demanding a lot of personal information
While phishing for personal information, scammers employ a smart tactic known as pre-screening. So-called pre-screening exams are carried out by the “survey businesses,” and they are designed to be extensive and lengthy. You’ll be asked for personal information like your social security number and bank account information when you take the tests (One Time Passwords).
Scammers may exploit your personal information, including your Social Security number, to install malicious software, steal your usernames and passwords, open new credit cards and bank accounts in your name, and make fraudulent purchases.
False sender information
Checking the address bar of the “business” website it sends you to will quickly reveal a scam survey’s true sender. The first step is to hover your mouse over the link. Is there anything fishy about the URL? After clicking the link and being redirected to a new page, see what information the website is requesting from you.
While the lock icon in your computer address bar may appear to indicate that a website is secure, this isn’t always true. The lock icon indicates that the connection to the website is safe, but this does not imply that the website itself is legitimate.. Keep an eye out for phony email addresses and website URLs.
Tempting prizes via online games
Scammers use this fraud to prey on those who enjoy playing video games online. Those that click on unknown survey links in order to gain free add-ons for a better gaming experience are at risk of having their gaming experience harmed.
It is possible for malware to be put on your device when you click on one of these links. Because they appear on gaming platforms, people tend to believe that these polls are harmless. Scammers, on the other hand, operate across a wide range of platforms, including video games.
What Can You Do When Filling Out Internet Surveys?
Here are tips you should follow when filling out online surveys to prevent being scammed:
Install online tools that identify scam surveys
Detecting bogus surveys can become increasingly challenging as fraudsters improve their strategies and devise more complicated scams. Fortunately, many online resources are at your disposal.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in Surveillance to detect bogus surveys. Over 90% of internet surveys are bogus, according to the tests done when developing this program, therefore it’s crucial to exercise caution.
Register on research panel platforms
Enrolling in reputable research panels or paid survey platforms is a fantastic approach to locate credible surveys. For online survey-based research, you can find a wide variety of options on these sites. Nevertheless, be wary of firms that need personal information or money up front.
There is a possibility that they are attempting to defraud you. In addition, keep an eye out for how organizations are awarding their employees with bonuses. Gift vouchers, pre-paid cards, and e-wallet transfers are the safest methods of accepting survey rewards.
Think twice before entering sensitive information
Think about the scenario in which you’ve located a survey that appears legitimate enough for your bank account details. You try to leave the website since you don’t want to give out such information.
Unfortunately, scammers may have already gathered your personal information using a keylogger technique, which allows them to capture information that you have entered on their website regardless of whether you choose to press the submit button. Before you begin typing out personal information, decide whether or not you want to do so.
Here are a few things you need to ask yourself before you get started with filling out online surveys:
Do you know what kind of data is being gathered? Always double-check the scope of the survey’s data collection and the purpose for which it is being collected. Does the procedure of obtaining your data take place infrequently or frequently?
What methods are used to gather the data? In a form where you have to submit your personal information, or is it automatically collected by the website via cookies? If you choose the second option, your online activities and the links you click on will likely be tracked.
What will happen to your data? Be aware of the website’s reasons for collecting your personal data. What are you trying to accomplish with this information? Is it likely that the data will be shared with a third party?
For how long will this data be kept? Another thing to consider is how long the company plans to keep your information on file and what the purpose of that retention is. As a firm grows, it may need to keep data for a specified amount of time for several reasons. Check to see if the company is adhering to local, state, and federal laws when it comes to data retention.
If you’re concerned about giving out personal information online, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know. When it comes to frauds and phishing assaults, one click is frequently all it takes to either escape or fall prey. Be on the lookout for online survey fraud by keeping these pointers in mind.
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