Chain warns of supermarket email scam

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:00 28/11/2012

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Grey Power Nelson is warning the public of an email scam offering a $50 incentive to supermarket shoppers who complete a survey which also seeks customers' credit card details.

The lobby group's Nelson president, Neville Male, said a Grey Power committee member raised concern about the email which has been widely distributed to Countdown customers.

Countdown public affairs manager Luke Schepen confirmed the email was a scam, and that people should delete it.

There was no indication yet that anyone had completed the survey, but it was clear from the number of emails and communication from the public that people were aware it was false, Mr Schepen said.

The email, which includes the Countdown logo, says the supermarket chain will add a $50 credit to shoppers' accounts if they take part in a "quick 5-question survey". It also says holders of multiple cards can run the survey for each card.

The first question, which contains spelling errors, asks if employees are friendly and helpful. The survey also asks how satisfied customers are with the supermarket's overall service. The arrangement of multi-choice answers vary for each question.

Mr Male did not know if anyone in Nelson had completed the survey, which appeared reasonably authentic. He suspected addresses had been obtained via Countdown's Onecard loyalty system, which asked for customers' email addresses at the point of application.

"It's the old story - hang out the bait and hope plenty of fish will go for it. Because a lot of people use Countdown they could be conned into providing the information but it's a con job and people shouldn't respond."

Mr Schepen said Countdown had started alerting customers via its website and Facebook page, and media organisations.

He said Countdown would never ask for customers' credit card details, and the email origins would suggest it had not come from the supermarket chain.

"While it says it's from Countdown, the name and email address on it are not from us."

The best advice was that if people thought something was a scam, then it probably was, he said.

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- The Nelson Mail

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