Valentine’s Day, Apple ID, and State Farm: Top Scams of the Week

    valentines day scam
    iStock

    This week we’ve found romance scams and phishing attempts in which scammers are impersonating Apple and State Farm. Would you have been able to spot these scams? 

    Valentine’s Day Scams

    Most commonly, scammers will send out text messages or emails that promote too-good-to-be-true Valentine’s Day sales campaigns, either making up a brand or impersonating a trusted one.

    If you take the bait and visit the link inside the text/email, you will be taken to a fake online shop where you can end up losing your money and personal information. Watch out!

    Sample Scam Valentine’s Day Sales Texts

    • LUMINESS: Exclusive Valentine’s Day Deal! Get our best-selling BREEZE Airbrush for just <MONEY>. Hurry,offer expires soon. Shop: <URL>
    • StyleSeat: Love yourself this Valentine’s Day Book your beauty session to add the perfect touch to your special day. <URL>
    • REVIVE Essential Oils: FREE Gift with Purchase + 00% OFF Everything! Valentine’s Day Sale. Shop SALE>> <URL> P.S. Prioritize your Skin & Hair in 0000. Skin Health & Healthy Hair are Almost Sold Out! Everyone loves them both & we keep selling out. Text STOP to opt-out

    Valentine’s Day Scams: Red Flags

    1. The websites are very young.
    2. Much of the content is duplicated, including product pictures and policy statements.
    3. There’s no contact phone number – just different email addresses.
    4. There are no reviews.
    5. There is no social media presence.
    6. The websites’ owners are hiding their identity on WHOIS.

    For more tips on how to check if a website is legitimate, please go to this article.

    Romance Scams

    Sending out texts and emails is also one of scammers’ favorite tactics to exploit those who are seeking love online.

    Scammers send out texts or emails and “invite” you to click on the embedded links for further interaction. For example, we detected and blocked this romance scam email over 5,400 times last week!

    Valentines Day Scam

    If you click on the link, it will take you to a FAKE dating site that will eventually collect your PII, such as your Social Security number, login credentials, and credit card details:

    Valentines Day Fake Dating Site

    With your PII, they can commit other cybercrimes such as stealing your money as well as your identity. Don’t let that happen!

    Stay Away from Scams

    The truth is, there are lots of scams and scam sites on the internet and they’re getting even more difficult to detect with common sense alone. However, for an easy and reliable method of detecting and avoiding scam sites, check out Trend Micro ID Protection.         
     
    ID Protection can shield you from scams, fake and malware-infected websites, dangerous emails, phishing links, and lots more! If you come across something dangerous online, you’ll be alerted in real time so you’ll know to stay well clear.        

    Fake Apple ID Email

    “Your Apple ID will be disabled because of some violated issues!” Is that email really from Apple? Check again!

    We’ve reported on Apple ID phishing attempts several times before, and recently people are receiving fake Apple ID verification emails again:

    Apple ID Phishing Scam_email
    Source: Reddit

    The email says you need to verify your account to stop it from being permanently locked, but it’s actually a SCAM. A double check on the sender’s email address proves it’s NOT a legitimate Apple email:

    Source: Reddit

    If you do click on the “verify now” button, you will be taken to a fake Apple login page (read: a phishing page) that is designed to record any login credentials you submit. Be careful! Scammers can, for real this time, lock you out of your Apple ID account if you reveal your information!

    State Farm Survey Scam

    In addition to fake login pages, fake online survey forms are also common in such email phishing attempts. For example, we blocked this fake survey email impersonating State Farm over 8,000 times last week:

    State Farm Phishing

    Falsely claiming that you can get an exclusive reward for taking the survey, scammers prompt you to click on the button. Don’t! If you do, you will be led to a fake State Farm survey page where you could end up exposing all your PII. And of course, there will be no rewards!

    Tips to Stay Safe Online

    • Double-check the sender’s mobile number and email address. Even if it seems legitimate, think twice before you take any action.    
    • Reach out to the company’s customer service directly for help and support.
    • Never click on dubious links or attachments! Stick to official websites and apps.
    • If you’ve accidentally revealed your PII somewhere, change your passwords immediately and inform your bank and/or other companies that scammers may contact them pretending to be you. 
    • Check if any of your PII has been leaked and secure your social media accounts using Trend Micro ID Protection.   
    • Finally, add an extra layer of protection to your devices with Trend Micro Mobile Security. Its Web Threat Protection, Ransomware Protection, Anti-phishing, and Anti-spam Protection will help you combat scams and cyberattacks.  

    If you’ve found this article an interesting and/or helpful read, please SHARE it with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected. Also, please consider leaving a comment or LIKE below.

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