This week we’ve found a large number of scams that you need to watch out for, including ones relating to Green Dot, Walmart, Netflix, Venus Business Communications, Gmail, and MORE. Would you have been able to spot all the scams?
Phishing is one of the most commonly used tactics by scammers. Conventionally, while impersonating famous brands, they send out fake text messages and emails containing phishing links and try to entice you into opening them with various lies.
In such phishing schemes, the links will take you to fake log-in pages that appear to belong to various brands. These pages require you to submit log-in credentials to download a software update, change account settings, or whatever other tasks the scammers have asked you to complete. Below is an example:
Fake Green Dot Security Alert
We’ve reported on fake security alerts from famous banks like Citibank or Wells Fargo several times before, and this week we detected a wave of phishing attempts impersonating Green Dot Corporation, a prepaid card issuer in the United States:
- green dot security alerts: we noticed a new device sign-in to your green dot account, secure your account by visiting <URL>
Scammers prompt you to click on the attached link to “secure your account.” It will take you to this fake Green Dot log-in page where you’re asked to enter a user ID and password. (Note: the legitimate Green Dot website is greendot.com)
Why do scammers do this? To record the sensitive information you enter and use it to hack into your account or even commit other cybercrimes such as identity theft. Don’t get scammed!
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“Messages pending” Email Phishing (Gmail, Webmail)
If you get an email that says you have messages pending and asks you to validate your email address before you can read them, think twice before doing anything!
Scammers impersonate email providers and send out fake pending message notifications, prompting you to click on the embedded button that takes you to a copycat email log-in page belonging to services like Gmail or Webmail:
The page is a phishing site. As explained, scammers can gain access to your email account with the credentials you submit here. Don’t fall for it!
These phishing links also lead to online survey pages that state you can claim a gift by filling out an online questionnaire. After you complete the questionnaire, you are prompted to enter credit card details before your “gift” can be delivered. Here are some examples:
Walmart Gift Card Scam
Walmart has always been one of the scammers’ favorite brands to pose as. Promising you a Walmart gift card or other reward, scammers lure you into claiming the gift via the attached phishing link:
- (0155) Happy MemoriaI Day, from Walmart! Here is $5OO for You to Spend This Week <URL>
- 💸 thank you for being a waimart customer! please fill out our quick survey to help us improve our services and get a surprise token: <URL>💖
If you click on the link, you will see this live chat page titled “Walmart Reward Program” that allows you to claim your “reward.”
If you take the bait and click “Claim Now,” you will be taken to this Walmart online survey page featuring a $500 Walmart gift card. You could end up exposing your credit card information — and of course, there’s no gift card or any other reward. Be careful!
Venus Business Communications Scam
We saw a similar template used in another survey scam — posing as the Internet service provider Venus Business Communications, scammers lure you into clicking on the scam link using a free iPad as a hook:
- ⚡ robb, you no longer need to a buy a new ipad, because you’re getting yours for free! congratulations! <URL>⌚
- robbie shive, this is to inform you that you placed 8th on weekly draw. this week’s prize is a brand new ipad pro. follow steps to claim your prize. you have 24 hours to get it here <URL>
Again, the link leads to a fake live chat page:
As mentioned, you will need to complete an online survey to get the gift. If you enter any personal information, the scammers will record it all! Don’t get scammed!
Netflix Scam Text Messages
Back in January this year we reported on Netflix SMS phishing scams, and now they are reoccurring. Falsely claiming that you have to update your account status, scammers prompt you to click on the attached phishing link:
- Alert : The Netflix membership payment has been failed and account status is Restricted <URL> [Attachment(s) removed]
The link will take you to this Netflix survey page that says you can win a free Netflix subscription for a year.
Sounds tempting? Don’t fall for it, and please never share your credit card information or other personal data online if you’re not 100% sure of a website’s legitimacy.
How to Protect Yourself
- Double-check the sender’s mobile number/email address.
- Free gifts and prizes are always a major red flag.
- Go to the official website/application instead of using links from unknown sources.
- Never click on links or attachments 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:
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