Top 4 Phishing Scams of the Week: Costco Raffle, Minnesota State Unemployment Insurance, Amazon Online Survey, and IRS Economic Impact Payment Scams (20210806)

    Costco Scam

    With deliberately designed phishing pages, scammers aim to steal your personal information and will use it to hack into your account, steal your money, or conduct other cybercrime such as identity theft.

    This week’s article will introduce 3 SMS phishing scams and 1 email scam in detail, including Costco raffle, Minnesota State unemployment insurance, Amazon online survey, and IRS Economic Impact Payment scams. Did you see anything similar in your inbox? Check how these viral scams work and learn how to protect yourself:

    Costco iPad Raffle Scam

    We have written about Costco phishing text messages for several times before, but now they are viral again; we detected 5 times more phishing messages about fake Costco raffle campaigns last week. Did you receive any?

    Costco phishing text messages. Source: Reddit


    • Costco: Oliden, your  code 07744 printed on your receipt from  18 came in 1st in our iPad raffle: <URL>
    • Costcos: your annual $120 reward is ready to be redeemed. your reward is based on purchases from the date you paid your costos membership. CLAIM HERE <URL>

    Scammers impersonate Costco and falsely claim that you have won an iPad or AirPods in their raffle. They prompt you to click on a phishing link in the message to claim your reward. If you take the bait, the link will lead you to a fake Costco online survey page where you are asked to fill out an online survey.

    Spot the Scam_Costco_1_0806

    After that, you will have to enter personal information and financial credentials to schedule for your gift delivery, including credit card number, expiration date, and CVC code. The data will end up in scammers hands; they can use it to steal your money as well as your identity!

    Spot the Scam_Costco_2_0806

    Minnesota State Unemployment Insurance Phishing Text Messages

    We have reported several phishing text messages from the Illinois government about unemployment insurance claim. Scammers now start to pose as other states as well.

    In the latest scam case, scammers send text messages with phishing links in the name of Minnesota State. Again, they tell you that you have to update the status of your unemployment insurance, or else your account will be closed:

    your minnesota state unemployment insurance (mui is due for update, sign in to your secureaccess minnesota (mui) account to update. according to provision 17.9 of terms and conditions, failure to update will result in a permanent account closure. <URL> (mui – terms of service ®

    If you follow their instruction and click on the link in the message, you will be taken to a fake Minnesota unemployment insurance page. There you will be asked to enter personal information like your Social Security Number. Scammers will then record the credentials and use them for identity theft.

    Spot the Scam_Minnesota_0806

    Amazon Phishing Text Messages

    Amazon scams have been a popular tactic scammers use to exploit people for a long time. Recently we have seen some new excuses scammers made up to convince you into clicking on the phishing link:

    • Amazon: Congratulations Richard, you came in 3rd in this week’s Amazon Airpods raffle! Follow the link to set delivery: <URL>
    • Add Your Rent, Netflix & Amazon Prime to your Credit Report to increase your Score!  Start below, It’s Free  <URL>
    • Amazon Your account is frozen, please click here for details. <URL>
    • HI,  Make in India & Ship to the world. Register Now with Amazon Global Selling  <URL>
    • Delivered: Your Amazon package with Magna-Tiles 18840 40 Piece Freestyle Set, The Orig… and 1 other item was delivered. More info at <URL>
    • You successfully opted in to receive jobs via SMS. View Amazon jobs here <URL> Txt STOP to Opt Out

    As we have written for several times, once you click on the link, you will be taken to an online survey page and asked to enter sensitive personal information in the end, such as banking details.

    Scammers will then record the data you provide and use it to transfer all your money away. Or, they use it for identity theft!

    Spot the Scam_Amazon_2_0714

    Fake IRS Economic Impact Payment Email

    Did you receive the third round of Economic Impact Payments from the IRS? If you are still expecting the money, please be extra careful and do not click on anything when you receive emails from the IRS – they are scams!

    Scammers impersonate the IRS and send you emails, claiming that your third round of COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments is available. They prompt you to claim the payment via a button embedded in the email. Do not fall for it!

    Fake IRS email. Source: Reddit

    Note: the IRS will never contact you to request personal or financial information via email!

    If you click on the button in the fake email, you will be taken to a fake IRS page (phishing page) and asked to enter login information. Scammers can record the credentials you submit and use them for identity theft.

    Or, in a worse situation, malware will start to download once you click!

    How to Protect Yourself

    • Double-check the sender’s mobile number.
    • Do not share your personal information or financial credentials like bank account online.
    • Reach out to the official website or customer support directly for help if you think there are issues with your account.
    • Refer to the organization’s official website for the most accurate information instead of clicking the links provided in suspicious text messages.
    • NEVER click links or attachments from unknown sources. Use Trend Micro Check to detect scams with ease!

    1. After you pin the Trend Micro Check browser extension, it will block dangerous sites for you automatically:

    TMC Amazon Prime Day scam

    2.Send a link or a screenshot of suspicious text messages to Trend Micro Check on WhatsApp for immediate scam detection:

    Or download Trend Micro Maximum Security for a broader range of protection, including Web Threat Protection, Ransomware Protection, Anti-phishing and Anti-spam Protection, Privacy Scanner for Facebook and Twitter, Social Networking Protection, and Parental Controls. Click the button below to give it a try:

    Did you successfully spot the scams? Remember, always CHECK before your next move.
    If you found this article helpful, please SHARE to protect your family and friends!

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