If you happen to get an email from “McDonald’s” promising you free money, do not open it, and do not click on any link inside. Do not let your mom click on it! Do not let your grandparents click on it! DO NOT let your crush click on it!!! Your enemies? Well, it’s up to them to decide to click on it or not. According to Snopes, a scam email claiming that you’ve been selected to get an “exclusive reward” and that “Your Name Came Up For a mcdonalds Gift” is, in fact, an effort to steal your money and/or personal data.
In a disappointing development for anyone who had been looking forward to corresponding with Mr. McDonald, the email, sent from a random address, redirects to some website. That website redirects a few more times before landing on a Russian survey website, at which point you’re asked to complete a survey in exchange for $100, with a countdown timer to remind you that time is, uh, of the essence.
The timer, Snopes noted, is totally fake
This isn’t the first time fake emails purporting to be from McDonald’s have attempted to scam the recipients. In 2011, a phishing attack advertised a “Free Dinner Day” at McDonald’s with an attachment that directed victims to malware. In 2009, a fake McDonald’s customer satisfaction survey went around, promising to drop an $80 credit to your credit card.
While it is funny that “Your Name Came Up For a mcdonalds Gift” straight up sounds like a threat, it’s worth considering that millions of Americans, many of whom are elderly, fall prey to scams like this every year. We have to stay vigilant for ourselves and our neighbors, and I have to stop sounding like a walking D.A.R.E. program pamphlet. But seriously: Do not accept all cookies (for what, ma’am?) and warn your loved ones about clicking on sketchy links.
I wish scam emails contained useful information for once. Maybe they could include some good menu intel in the subject line? Suggestion: “CLICK HERE - EXCLUSIVE OFFER - NOW - ALSO SHAMROCK SHAKE IS BACK FOR A LIMITED TIME!!!!”