Scammers ruin faith in 'freebie'

Such an email triggers a blast of warning sirens in your head... 'Scam, scam scam... nah, too good to be true!'

DARN those unscrupulous scammers - they've destroyed my faith in the good, old-fashioned 'freebie'.

An email arrived this week from the Commonwealth Bank offering up a $100 Coles Myer gift voucher for a few moments of my time to answer some questions about NetBank.

There was a time where the instant reaction to such an offer would have been 'Cool, a freebie, I'm in'.

Sadly, those horror stories of people being ripped blind by internet, SMS and website scams have made us a wary lot these days.

Today, such emails trigger a blast of warning sirens in your head... 'Scam, scam scam... nah, too good to be true!'.

Soon those warning sirens are replaced by well-worn cliques - 'if it seems too good to be true, it probably is' or 'if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck... it's a duck'.

You end up waging a battle with yourself about whether to push your luck and open the email.

The trouble is we've become so accustomed to thinking everything is a scam.

Don't get me wrong, there's good reason for that.

Can't remember how many times I've been told on SMS and email that I've won the English lottery... been a millionaire a hundred time over. Oh, how I wish!

Or all those times I've received heartfelt pleas from princes, soldiers or residents of far away nations calling for my help in looking after their money... just need to send them my passwords first.

There's those rippers from people sending a desperate message because they've been robbed overseas and urgently need cash to survive. Amazingly, sometimes these even come from people you know. Nah, they've been hacked. Not that silly.

Or miraculously you just happen to be the 1000th person to visit a site on a given day and there's an iPad waiting for you to reward that stroke of fortune. Just send your details first! 

So, back to the Commonwealth Bank's generous offer of a $100 Coles Myer voucher for a few minutes of my time to offer my opinions on NetBank.

A link on the email took you to what looked absolutely like the official NetBank website BUT a client number and password was needed to proceed any further. WARNING!

I even logged onto the official Commonwealth Bank website and did some snooping around to see if there was anything proving this Coles Myer voucher offer was legit. Couldn't find anything.

So, what did I do in the end? 

Nup, I'm a chicken.

I've been too corrupted by those stories of people being ripped blind by these unscrupulous scammers that I opted to pass on my fabulous 'freebie'.

There's a $100 Coles Myer voucher gone west.

Yep, darn those unscrupulous scammers!


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