Top 6 Phishing Text Message Scams: Costco, Walmart, Amazon, and More! (20210813)

    Walmart costco scams

    Have you received any “phishy” text messages lately? Maybe they contained suspicious links or unusual propositions. Well, these text messages are far from uncommon! Scammers love to impersonate big-name companies and government agencies and send text messages to people containing fake security notifications or order confirmations. These text messages try their best to lure people into clicking on the embedded phishing links that they can use to gather lots of personal information. If these scammers manage to get their hands on your sensitive data they will use it to exploit you in a number of ways – they can hack into your account, steal your money, or even use it to steal your identity.

    This week’s article will cover 6 SMS phishing scams that have been really popular lately, including ones relating to Costco, Walmart, and Amazon. Read on to see how these viral scams work and learn how to protect yourself!

    Costco Scams

    Costco phishing scams have gone viral…again!

    Posing as Costco, scammers have been sending out texts falsely claiming that people have won an “Earpods draw”:

    Costco SMS scam
    Source: Reddit

    Costco: the code 61543 printedon your receipt from 18 came in 1st in our Earpods draw: i2hbv*info/

    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 site where you are asked to complete an online survey.

    After that, you will have to enter personal information and financial details including your credit card number, expiration date, and CVC code to schedule the delivery of your prize. Of course, you’ll never receive it and the data you enter will end up in the scammers’ hands.

    After you’ve pinned the Trend Micro Check browser extension in Chrome, it will block dangerous sites for you automatically:

    Send links or screenshots of suspicious text messages to Trend Micro Check on WhatsApp for immediate scam detection.

    Spot the Scam_TMC_0730

    We’ve spotted even more phishing text message scams! Have you come across any of them?

    Walmart Scams

    We have seen these Walmart online survey scams before. However, there were around 4 times more of these scams detected in the past week than normal:

    • Hi Nick, this is Tom from Walmart. You have an item addressed to you. Can you please confirm it by today? <URL>
    • This is Sam from Walmart! We have a Giftcard for you <URL>

    These scams either tell you that you have to confirm an “item addressed to you” or claim that you can get a free gift card. All their messages contain a link that takes you to a fake Walmart online survey page that says you can get an iPad Pro as a reward after completing a questionnaire.

    walmart online survey scams

    Once again, you would need to provide lots of personal information including your address, credit card number, expiration date, and even CVC code. Obviously, you’ll never get to see that iPad Pro.

    walmart online survey scams

    Amazon Scams

    Yeah, Amazon is on the list again. We have already written about Amazon online survey scams many times. Unfortunately, these phishing text messages are still going around using slightly different tactics:

    • Delivered: Your Amazon package with 14 Inch Full HD Digital Photo Frame 1920×1080 High Resolution IPS S… was delivered. More info at <URL>
    • HI,  Make in India & Ship to the world. Register Now with Amazon Global Selling  <URL>
    • “Hi Susan, this is your last chance to receive $100 reward! Please complete this short survey about your Amazon shopping experience <URL>
    • Amazon: Congrats Arlicia, you came in the winner in today’s Amazon Smartwatch raffle! Click the link to  delivery: <URL>
    • Amazon: Your order #7454868 status changed – Despatched! Track here:  <URL>
    • Add Your Rent, Netflix & Amazon Prime to your Credit Report to increase your Score!  Start below, It’s Free  <URL>
    • Order Confirmed: Your card charged of $4798.99 for Apple MacBook Pro 115.4″ Order id F080821MR at AMAZON on 08-08-2021. If You DO NOT, Call <Phone Number>
    Amazon SMS phishing.
    Amazon SMS phishing. Source: Reddit

    One of the scam text messages instructs you to make a phone call if you think there are issues with one of your payment methods. The others contain phishing links that lead to a fake Amazon online survey page.

    Spot the Scam_Amazon_0714

    Just like the other scams mentioned, they try to entice you into entering lots of personal information by claiming you’ve won a free gift.

    Spot the Scam_Amazon_2_0714

    Missed Call Scams

    Many people have received this “Missed Call” notification lately. The message claims that to listen to the message the caller left you, you need to click the embedded link. If the scammers are impersonating a well-known company, the link will take you to a fake version of the company’s website, and the malicious app they’re prompted to download will appear to be from the company, too. Otherwise, as in the example below, you will be asked to download a fairly generic-looking voicemail app.

    missed call scams
    Source: Reddit

    6wfk0 Missed Call: You have a missed call. Caller left you a message: HTTP[:]//codee vokes*com/

    Even though it’s tempting to want to listen to the message, don’t click on the link! If you install the app, your phone will become infected with the Flubot malware.

    Spam Messages Eradication Scams

    Find it annoying receiving so many spam messages and want to get rid of them? Be careful, scammers are using “spam texts eradication” as a way to trick you into clicking on a phishing link!

    spam messages eradication scams
    Source: Reddit

    Dear User, Your phone is receiving too many spam texts. Eradicate them now here » vrmd6[.]info/

    You already know what we’re going to say: Don’t click on the link!

    Unemployment Insurance Scams

    Due to COVID-19, unemployment insurance has become more popular as many people are becoming increasingly reliant on it. Scammers know this, so they pose as government agencies and send you text messages with phishing links about unemployment insurance, luring you into clicking on their malicious links.

    We’ve previously seen Illinois and Idaho unemployment insurance scams, and this week we observed ones from Wisconsin and Maryland:

    wisconsin unemployment insurance (ui)—- we are making some exciting changes to improve your ui benefit security features. you are required to verify your ui benefit profile information with us to activate these features. your ui benefit will be deactivated within 48hours if no response is received visit: <URL>

    Wisconsin unemployment insurance scam

    your maryland unemployment insurance claim account is currently on hold for verification, please complete your verification by following the instructions in the link below <URL> to reactivate your account

    Maryland unemployment insurance scam

    The links attached in these phishing messages either lead to fake government websites or other phishing online forms. Scammers will prompt you to fill in your personal information like your driver’s license number and other sensitive credentials. As we have mentioned before, the data will end up in the scammers’ hands, and they can use it for any number of things including identity theft. Don’t fall for it!

    How to Protect Yourself

    • Double-check the sender’s mobile number/email address.
    • Reach out to the official website or customer support directly for help if you think there are issues with your account.
    • NEVER click links or attachments from unknown sources. Use Trend Micro Check to detect scams with ease!
    • Download Trend Micro Maximum Security for even more protection, including Web Threat Protection, Ransomware Protection, Anti-phishing , and Anti-spam Protection. Gain access to the Privacy Scanner for Facebook and Twitter, Social Networking Protection, and Parental Controls, too. Click the button below to give it a try:

    Did you successfully spot the scams? Remember, always CHECK before giving out personal information.

    If you found this article helpful, please SHARE to protect your family and friends!

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