HONOLULU (KHON2) — Businesses sometimes send out surveys asking for feedback.

If an unrealistic prize is offered in exchange for filling out that survey– beware!

Officials have a warning about survey scams making the rounds via email and telephone.

What they all have in common is the need of your personal information.

“Be aware of the fact that what they’re doing is trying to get valuable information, your personal information that at best they’re going to harvest or sell to another third party for profit,” said Stephen Levins of the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection.

Legitimate survey firms will identify themselves and describe how to contact them.

Signs that the survey is a scam include links within the email, which can install malware on your computer.

“Don’t click on any sites that are attached to any strange emails guard your personal information because it’s valuable,” said Levinson. “People either want to make money off of it or or they want to steal your money.”

Levins says don’t be fooled by unrealistic prizes attached to these surveys.

Even if they’re offering payment, legitimate surveys will never ask for bank or credit card information but instead pay by check.

“No one is giving you a car or a free trip or an airline ticket to some great place because you’re giving them your name, address, phone number, and how you feel about their products,” said Levinson. “It’s going to be a scam.”

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222.

You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com.