Scams targeting shoppers likely to last through the holidays

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over but scammers are still targeting holiday shoppers and probably will continue to do so through the holidays. This week’s ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert finds holiday scammers are hiding behind several well-known companies

“Recently we’ve seen scammers using the T-Mobile brand and offering a free iPhone 15 as a lure,” Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro, told us. “Consumers should remain vigilant in recognizing these too-good-to-be-true messages they receive.”

Here are four holiday shopping scams that are showing up a lot:

  • Walmart Survey Scam – Scammers impersonate Walmart and use exclusive offers as bait to invite victims to participate in a small survey to allow scammers to steal the victims’ personal info. The Trend Micro Research team saw 841 logs on Nov 26.

  • Costco Scam – Bad actors pretending to be Costco send out emails randomly, asking the email receivers to join a loyalty program for free and receive a $1,000 gift card. The Trend Micro Research team detected 745 logs on Nov 26.

  • T-Mobile Scam – Similar to the Costco scam above, this scam email informs the email receivers that they can claim a brand-new iPhone 15. The Trend Micro Research team saw 8,540 logs from Nov 21-27.

  • Aspire Cash Back Rewards Credit Card Scam – Scammers impersonate this credit card and send emails to victims to redirect them to a fake site, trying to steal users’ personal information. The Trend Micro Research team detected 1,723 logs from Nov 21-27.

Travel scams

With the holidays coming up there’s also no shortage of travel scams. For example, scammers use $90 promo rewards to attract victims to join United Airlines’ loyalty program and get victims’ private information. The Trend Micro Research team saw 2,312 logs from Nov 21-27.

Airbnb is also a favorite travel company to impersonate. In a scheme similar to the United Airlines scam, scammers impersonate Airbnb to invite users to take a short survey to get a $100 Airbnb gift card. The Trend Micro Research team detected 3,260 logs from Nov 21-27.

Mail server phishing

This scam is used to steal your login information. Scammers pretend to be the email server system to send you a notification of quarantine inbox summary and try to redirect you to a fake login page, potentially misleading you into typing your email count and passwords. The Trend Micro Research team detected 542 logs on Nov 26.

Government Refund Scam

We saved the most outlandish – and newest scam to make our list – for last. Scammers claim they are from the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America, informing you that you are eligible to receive huge compensation valued at $36.5 million. 

Scammers try to convince you to reply to the email with your name, house address, phone number, and other personal information as confirmation in order to receive this large amount of money. The Trend Micro Research team saw 184 logs on Nov 24.

This one is similar to the old sweepstakes scam but offers a lot more money that, needless to say, doesn’t exist.

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