PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Loyalty rewards programs — coupons, discounts and cashback — are a long-established, effective methods used by retailers to keep customers coming back.

It makes sense for both sides, but now a scam with a new twist is now making the rounds.

“When you click on the message, you are then asked to complete a survey regarding on a past customer experience. Then, after you complete the survey, you will be given $100 or more in reward points to this company,” Caitlin Driscoll of the Better Business Bureau said.

It starts with an email that appears to be from one of your favorite stores. The subject reads something like, “Your reward points are expiring — claim them now!”

“That should always be a red flag whenever any type of correspondence is urging you to act immediately to take a step back and consider the situation,” Driscoll said.

The email goes on to say that you have been selected to complete a survey in exchange for extra bonus points.

“There’s a number of different ways in this type of scam. For instance, it could be an actual survey, but whenever you complete it, a bunch of different pop-ups could come up on your screen to get you to purchase a bunch of different spam products such as wrinkle creams or diet products,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll said the best way to avoid being scammed is to never click on unsolicited messages in your inbox.

“It could also just be that whenever you click on the link, you are downloading malware onto your computer unknowingly for them to steal personal information off of your computer,” Driscoll said.

The Better Business Bureau has a final word of caution – never provide your banking information or credit card information online unless you are certain of the security of the site you are visiting.

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