Costco, Shell, SSA, Louis Vuitton, blogdodge[.]shop, and Gmail — Top Scams & Phishing Schemes of the Week

    Costco, Shell, SSA, Louis Vuitton, blogdodge[.]shop, and Gmail — Top Scams & Phishing Schemes of the Week

    This week we’ve found a large number of scams that you need to watch out for, including ones relating to Costco, Shell, SSA, Louis Vuitton, blogdodge[.]shop, and Gmail. Would you have been able to spot all the scams?

    Online Survey Phishing

    Impersonating famous brands, scammers send out fake text messages and emails containing phishing links and try to entice you into opening them with various lies. These links will take you 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:

    #1 – Costco Survey Scam

    We’ve reported on Costco scams several times before, and they’ve been spreading throughout the US again. Posing as Costco, scammers send you texts that feature fake raffle campaigns to try to trick you:

    • We are calling on all Costco shoppers to get a chance to win $25 for answering 3 questions about their shopping experience.  <URL>

    The pages say that you can win a prize worth up to $100 after you complete the survey:

    Spot the Scam_Costco_survey Scam_20220819

    After that, you will be asked to enter personal information, including even credit card details:

    Spot the Scam_Costco_survey Scam_20220819_2

    Of course, there will be no prize, and your credentials will end up in the scammers’ hands. Scammers will record everything you enter on their fake pages and use it to commit cybercrimes: e.g., hack into your account or steal your identity. Don’t let them!

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    #2 – Shell Gift Card Scam

    Shell gift card scams have continued to circulate this week:

    • S H E I I Msg: 8083919249 has been award’d a $500 instant vchr. Must soIicit by Midnight 8/11. Tap: <URL>

    Promising you a free voucher, scammers try to trick you into completing an online survey via the phishing link:

    Spot the Scam_Shell Gift Card Scam_20220819

    Once again, in the end, you will be asked to provide credit card details and other personal credentials. Don’t fall for it!

    Spot the Scam_Shell Gift Card Scam_20220819_2

    Fake Login Phishing Pages

    Phishing links will also often lead 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. Here’s an example:

    #1 – Social Security Administration (SSA)

    We’ve seen a lot of phishing scams targeting people’s financial credentials, but please beware that your social security information is also incredibly valuable to scammers.

    Scammers have started to pose as the Social Security Administration (SSA), contacting victims via text message, falsely claiming that their social security accounts could be suspended if the victims don’t follow their instructions.

    • my social security account (ssa/ssi) solution: we notice an error in your monthly payments, and your account as been suspended click <URL> to review your claim and b

    The attached link will take you to a fake SSA login page:

    Fake SSA Login Page

    Spot the Scam_my SSA_Phishing Page_20220819

    Legitimate SSA Login Page

    Spot the Scam_my SSA_Legit Website_20220819

    A sample fake SSA login page URL:

    • mbl-systemapp[.]com/ssa-system-app

    Note: Always pay close attention to web addresses. The legitimate domain of the SSA website is

    Scammers can access any information submitted on their phishing pages. Be careful!

    #2 – Mail Server (Gmail) Phishing

    We’ve previously seen a lot of bogus emails impersonating various mail servers. This week, we saw many more. Scammers use various tricks to try to get you to click on the buttons embedded in their phishing emails. For example, they will commonly say there is a security issue with your account or that you need to free up storage space.

    Spot the Scam_Mail Server_Phishing Email_20220819

    The embedded buttons will take you to a fake log-in page that impersonates your mail server. Below is an example:

    Spot the Scam_Mail Server_Gmail Phishing Page_20220819

    Remember, don’t enter your log-in credentials because scammers just want to hack into your account!

    Online Shopping Scams

    Besides phishing text messages and emails, you should also keep an eye out for fake online shopping pages. Below are two of the most currently widespread fake online shops:

    #1 – Louis Vuitton

    Spot the Scam_Louis Vuitton_Fake Page_20220819

    #2 – blogdodge[.]shop

    This website has been searched on over 3000 times, and its trust score was only 1 out of 100. Have you come across this fake online shop?

    Spot the Scam_blogdodge scam site_20220819

    How to Protect Yourself

    • Pay close attention to URLs.
    • Double-check the sender’s mobile number/email address.
    • Only shop on legitimate online shops/platforms.
    • 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 devices 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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