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Chase Bank Reward Survey Phishing Scam

June 30th, 2007

Today I received an email that appeared to come from the “online department” of Chase Manhattan Bank. The sender is listed as Chase Online Services and the subject is “Congratulations Valued Customer”. This particular phishing spam was a little more scary for me than most of them that I have seen because it almost fooled me into clicking the link, which is why I want to warn readers about it here.

The difference between this one and the others is that it offers a $20 incentive for completing a “reward survey” and even has an expiration date that is plausible for this type of program. Since I happen to be a regular participant in paid surveys and reward programs, I almost clicked the link simply out of habit, especially when I saw the dollar sign and the word “survey” on the same line. Fortunately, the spammer left some telltale clues in the email that caused me to balk at it long enough for me to figure out that this is almost certainly a scam:

Dear Chase Customer,

You have been chosen by our online department to take part in our quick and easy service departament.
In return we will credit $20 to your account - Just for your time!
Helping us better understand how our customers feel benefits everyone.

With the information collected we can decide to direct a number of changes to improve and expand our service.

We kindly ask you to spare two minutes of your time in taking part with this unique offer by confirming your information!

SERVICE: $20 Reward Survey
EXPIRATION: July - 5 - 2007

Click Here Now To Confirm your $20 Reward Survey with Chase Reward services.

The information you provide us is all non-sensitive and anonymous No part of it is handed down to any third party groups.
It will be stored in our secure database for maximum of 3 days while we process the results of this nationwide survey.

Please do not reply to this message. For any inquiries, contact Customer Service.

Thank you for using Chase!

Chase Reward Team

The first clue was the misspelling of the word “department” at the end of the first sentence. It seems unlikely that an established institution like Chase would let such an obvious error slip out in a mass mailing. The wording of some of the sentences was also rather awkward, suggesting that whoever wrote this may not be a native English speaker. I discovered the proverbial smoking gun when I moused over the hyperlinked text “Click Here Now To Confirm” and saw citireward.by.ru as the domain in the status bar. Not only does this domain not look like anything that would come from chase.com, the .ru (Russian country extension) and .by (Belarus or Byelorussian extension) are also rather suspicious, as many spam mails of this sort are known to originate from these places. So unless Chase Manhattan has some kind of hidden branch office in Russia or Belarus that they are using for their email communications, this is probably another phishing attempt that is designed to capture login information from unsuspecting account holders.

2 Responses to “Chase Bank Reward Survey Phishing Scam”

  1. comment number 1 by: Jon

    I just got the same email ( 12/10/2007 ) and googled the subject line “$20 Reward Survey with Chase OnlineĀ® Reward services” and found your post. Thank you! Since I am a Chase customer I almost clicked it. You just saved me bigtime!

  2. comment number 2 by: Karlonia

    Wow, it’s a good thing that you decided to search for information about the mail before clicking on that link!

    That particular mail almost fooled me as well even though I’m not a Chase customer because I still do some paid surveys and reward program stuff occasionally. For a while I thought that Chase might be sponsoring something like this, but the awkward English and very suspicious mouseover text readily gave it away as a classic phishing scam.

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