Fake giveaways, gift cards, and COVID pass scams… the scammers are doing everything they can to take the magic out of Christmas! Check out the hot scams of the week and see how many of them you’ve spotted!
Christmas Giveaway Scams
With Christmas being the season of giving, most brands and companies hold giveaway campaigns and sales. However, scammers impersonate these brands and send you fake messages with phishing links, trying to trick you into clicking on them to claim gifts that don’t even exist.
The phishing links lead to fake online survey pages that state you can claim a gift by completing an online questionnaire. After you fill out the survey, you are prompted to enter personal information, such as credit card numbers, before your “gift” can be delivered.
The scammers’ ultimate goal is to steal your information — they will record sensitive information you enter on these fake pages and use the data to commit cybercrimes: e.g., hack into your bank account, withdraw money, or steal your identity. Don’t let them!
This week we’ve found 3 Christmas giveaway scams:
1. Amazon – iPhone 11 Scam
We’ve seen Amazon anniversary scams and giveaway scams before, and now a new Christmas version has been circulating via WhatsApp:
The link leads to a fake Amazon survey page. After you fill it out, you are asked to share the link to your WhatsApp contacts and submit personal information. (Don’t do it!)
2. Best Buy – iPhone 13 Scam
Fake Best Buy iPhone 13 text messages have been popular for weeks, but now scammers have added some extra bits to them to make them Christmassy:
- Your cell carrier’s saying, MERRY CHRlSTMAS with an earIy compIimentary upgr@de, to the lphone13 <URL>
Again, the attached link will lead you to a fake online survey page, and you could eventually have your personal information exposed. Be careful!
3. Sam’s Club – iPad Pro Scam
Last week we reported on Sam’s Club email scams, and we recently spotted a text message version that says Sam’s Club is giving away $250, and that you need to click a link to activate it:
CHRlSTMAS lS HERE! Sams C|ub’s giving you a (1) year membership & $25O. Must be ACTlVATED by 12/18 <URL>
Note: Please don’t submit any credentials here! You will never receive the promised iPad, and scammers will have all your credit card details and use them for their own good.
Remember, NEVER clicking on links or attachments from unknown sources is the key to staying safe online. You can use Trend Micro Check to combat scams with ease (it’s 100% FREE):
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After you’ve pinned Trend Micro Check, it will block dangerous sites automatically! It is now available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.
Check out this page for more information on Trend Micro Check.
NHS COVID Pass Phishing Scam
As the impact of COVID-19 is on the rise again, scams about the COVID-19 vaccine, PCR tests, and health passports are back and circulating widely. Last week many people have received fake text messages from the National Health Service (NHS) that falsely claim you can apply for a COVID-19 vaccination passport online through the phishing link they provide:
NHS: You’re now eligible to get your NHS COVID pass. You could be fined if you don’t apply. Please visit nhs[.]digital-get-pass[.]com to apply for your pass.
The link will take you to a fake NHS login page where you are required to enter your name as well as other personal information to apply for your (fake) COVID vaccination passport. Guess what? Scammers can record your credentials and use them for identity theft. Don’t fall for it!
Gift Card / Rewards Survey Scams via Email
Besides text messages, scammers also use emails to spread fake survey campaigns. They guarantee you gift cards or rewards or ask you to check shipment details, luring you to click on phishing links that lead to fake online survey pages where you could end up exposing your sensitive credentials.
1. PayPal Christmas Gift Card Scams
“Congratulations! Win a $750 PayPal Prepaid Card Christmas Survey.” Did you receive this email from “PayPal”? Don’t click on anything!
2. DHL Shipment Phishing Email
“Your package is waiting!🚚” Posing as DHL, scammers try to trick you into thinking that your shipment has arrived so they can get you to click on the embedded button in the email — again, that will take you to a fake login page. Don’t submit your account information!
USPS Lottery Scam
Who wants a Samsung Galaxy ZFold for Christmas? Well, if you do, please be extra careful and don’t fall for this fake USPS lottery email! Scammers falsely claim that you can get a prize if you fill out the survey. Sound familiar? We know what will happen if you click on the button — scammers will steal your personal information!
How to protect yourself
- Double-check the sender’s mobile number/email address.
- Free gifts or prizes are always a major red flag.
- NEVER click links or attachments from unknown sources. Use Trend Micro Check to combat scams with ease! (It’s 100% FREE).
- Don’t forget to add an extra layer of protection to your device with Trend Micro Maximum Security! It includes Web Threat Protection, Ransomware Protection, Anti-phishing, and Anti-spam Protection to help you combat scams and cyberattacks. Click the button below to give it a try:
As ever, if you’ve found this article an interesting and/or helpful read, please do SHARE it with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected.
- By Karen Morgan | December 23, 2022
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