Spot the Scam: Costco, iPhone 13, Amazon, Kay Jewelers, LinkedIn, Walmart, and Dyson

    Costco anniversary scams

    This week we’ve found a large number of phishing scams that you need to watch out for, including ones relating to Costco, iPhone 13, Amazon, Kay Jewelers, LinkedIn, Walmart, and Dyson. Would you have been able to spot all the scams?

    Costco 40th Anniversary Scam

    Several months ago, we saw a lot of Costco anniversary scams spread via social media. Well, they’ve gone viral again!

    Impersonating Costco, scammers send you links to fake promotional campaigns via Facebook Messenger and prompt you to click on them:

    Scam Alert_Costco Anniversary_20220215
    Source: Facebook

    If you click on the link, you could have your Facebook account hacked or end up inadvertently exposing your personal information. Plus, your Facebook account could be compromised and then used to spam all your contacts with the same scam link!

    In fact, phishing scams are one of the scammers’ favorite weapons! Conventionally, while impersonating famous brands, they send out fake text messages and emails containing phishing links to entice you into opening them with promises of “prizes” or “discounts”.

    So where do these phishing links lead to?

    Fake online survey pages

    Most commonly, these links lead to online survey pages that state you can claim a gift by filling out an online questionnaire. After that, you are prompted to enter credit card numbers before your “gift” can be delivered. Here are a few examples:

    iPhone 13 Survey Scams

    Reminder: Your $8627 gov’t grant has been APPR0VED. You need to cIaim it before 2/11 <URL> Reply Stop to OPTOUT

    Spot the Scam_Survey_20220218

    In other instances, the links take you to fake log-in pages that seem to belong to various brands. These pages require you to submit log-in credentials to check a package’s delivery status, change account settings, or whatever other tasks the scammers have asked you to complete.

    Their ultimate goal is to steal your personal information — they’ll record everything you enter on these fake pages and use it to commit cybercrimes: e.g., hack into your bank account or steal your identity. Don’t let them!

    Amazon Survey Scam

    Amazon survey/gift card scams are another reoccurring scam variant we’ve reported on before:

    We are so happy you have chosen us as your provider and given the chance for growth. Here’s a little something from us <URL>

    As with other scams, the link takes you to an online survey page where you could end up exposing your personal information. Watch out!

    Spot the Scam_Amazon_20220118
    Spot the Scam_Amazon_20220218_2
    Trend Micro Check_Safari

    Trend Micro Check is an all-in-one browser extension for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links – and it’s FREE!

    After you’ve pinned Trend Micro Check, it will block dangerous sites automatically! It’s available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.

    Check out this page for more information on Trend Micro Check.

    Walmart Dyson Survey Scam

    Last week we wrote about a Walmart survey scam featuring the Dyson V11 vacuum cleaner, and it is still circulating via email:

    Spot the Scam_Walmart_20220218

    The link will direct you to a fake online survey page that tries to collect your delivery address and credit card details.

    Walgreens Survey Scam

    Besides Walmart, scammers have also been posing as Walgreens and falsely stating you can get a free iPad Pro after completing an online survey:

    Spot the Scam_Walgreens_20220218

    As you can imagine, the link will lead to a fake survey page where you could end up exposing personal credentials like your credit card details. Be careful!

    Fake log-in pages

    In other instances, the links take you to fake log-in pages such as the ones below.

    For example, scammers use fake support emails to try to lure you into clicking on embedded phishing links:

    Spot the Scam_Admin_20220218_2
    Spot the Scam_Admin_20220218

    Their ultimate goal is to steal your personal information — they’ll record everything you enter on these fake pages and use it to commit cybercrimes: e.g., hack into your bank account or steal your identity. Don’t let them!

    Valentine’s Day Scams

    Scammers have also been sending phishing messages featuring Valentine’s Day promotional campaigns:


    sprlnt-valentines msg* phone is the wlnner of an iph0ne 13. grab by the end of 2/14. {URL} stop to end

    The attached link, again, will take you to an online survey page. Don’t fall for it!

    Spot the Scam_Sprint_20220218

    Other than phishing scams, we’ve also detected many fake online shopping sites:

    Kay Jewelers

    [k-a-y valentines day sale] 50% off! extra $12 off for $99 & free shipping over $69! buy it now hxxps://www[.]ypestie[.]shop/?13 | text stop to opt out
    [valentine’s day sale] k ay-gifts she’ll love! up to 80% off! extra $10/$15 off for $89/$150! buy now hxxps://www[.]mskrvh[.]com/?17 text stop to opt out

    Spot the Scam_Kay_20220218

    Costa Sunglasses

    [gifts for him or her] co stas valentine’s day – 70% off! extra 15% on over $150! get now hxxps://www[.]pzydig[.]shop/?dt25 text stop to opt out

    Spot the Scam_Costa_20220218

    LinkedIn Email Scam

    Sometimes it is surprising where the scam links in fake emails lead to. For example, we reported on fake LinkedIn email notifications a while ago:

    Spot the Scam_LinkedIn_20220218

    It turns out that the fake links lead to scam/explicit dating websites where you could eventually lose your personal information as well as money. Don’t fall for it!

    Spot the Scam_Kijiji+TikTok_20220218
    Spot the Scam_Dating Scam_2_20220218

    How to Protect Yourself

    • Double-check the sender’s mobile number/email address.
    • Free gifts or prizes are always a major red flag.
    • Always go to the official website/application instead of using links from unknown sources.
    • Use Trend Micro Check to surf the web safely (it’s free!)
    • Add an extra layer of protection to your device with Trend Micro Maximum Security. Its Web Threat Protection, Ransomware Protection, Anti-phishing, and Anti-spam Protection can 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.

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    • By Debbie Dean | January 11, 2024
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