If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is, Retail NZ general manager for public affairs Greg Harford said.
“While retailers do sometimes offer prizes and incentives to participate in research, a reputable retailer will never ask a customer to pay to receive a prize. Any consumer receiving an invitation to participate in such a survey should immediately delete the text or email,” Harford said.
“Many retailers will list known scams on their websites – so it’s a good idea to check with the retailer if there’s any doubt.”
Supermarket chain Countdown fell victim to a text-based scam last year, which saw customers receive messages claiming they had won a ‘prize draw’. It included a link where customers could purportedly redeem their prize.
“Unfortunately, there are often scams going around using well known brand names, such as ours,” Countdown wrote on a Facebook post alerting its followers to the existence of the scam.
“Recently, many of our customers have told us they have received a text like this one… please do not click the link.”
A similar situation befell electronics retailer Harvey Norman, whose customers received messages claiming they had an item ready for pick-up with a link to ‘check the details’.
“Harvey Norman is aware of a current SMS based campaign offering customers free products, particularly televisions, from Harvey Norman franchised stores. This message is a scam,” the business wrote in a post to its Facebook followers.