Green Dot, Walmart, Netflix, Gmail, and MORE — Top Text & Email Phishing Scams of the Week

Green Dot, Walmart, Netflix, Gmail, and MORE — Top Text & Email Phishing Scams of the Week
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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)

Spot the Scam_Green Dot_20220610

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!

Surf the web safely with Trend Micro Check (it’s free!)

Trend Micro Check is a browser extension and mobile app for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links — and it’s FREE!

After you’ve pinned the Trend Micro Check extension, it will block dangerous sites automatically! (Available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge).

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You can also download the Trend Micro Check mobile app for 24/7 automatic scam and spam detection and filtering. (Available for Android and iOS).

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

“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!

Spot the Scam_Gmail_Email_20220610

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:

Spot the Scam_Phishing Page_Gmail_20220610
Spot the Scam_Phishing Page_Webmail_20220610

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.”

Spot the Scam_Walmart_live chat_20220610

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!

Spot the Scam_Walmart_20220610_Survey

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:

Spot the Scam_Venus Business_20220610_live chat

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!

Spot the Scam_Venus Business Communications_20220610

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.

Spot the Scam_Netflix_20220610

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. 

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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:

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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