Eye on Scams: Phishing Emails Target Shoppers with Post-Holiday Offer

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Con-artists are sending phony emails and texts that look like messages from major retailers instructing you to redeem reward points accrued during your holiday shopping.

Here’s how the scam works: You receive an unsolicited email or text message that appears to be from a major retailer claiming you have a new reward.

Experts have seen scammers use the names of Amazon, Kohls, and Costco… but any company can be spoofed.”

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “They’re sending these emails after the holidays hoping to steal somebody’s information.”

These phony emails look like messages from major retailers instructing you to redeem the reward points accrued during your holiday shopping.

Experts say to just hit delete.

“Amazon, Costco, Sears, all of the major brands’ scammers are duplicating putting their logos using their colors pretending to be a representative of that company saying that you have rewards that need to be claimed,” explained Babin.

You open the message, and it looks real. It includes a company logo, colors, and a link to claim the reward points or gift from your recent holiday shopping.  

“They want consumers to click on the links in the email and one of two things typically happens. It’ll download some type of malware on your computer to where a scammer might have access to it and can steal your information or bring you to a bogus website where they’re asking for your information, wanting you to put in all of that personal identifiable information and then the end you’re not claiming rewards,” added Babin.

The Better Business Bureau says if you receive one of these rewards email, make sure your account number or name is on the email.

If not, experts say then most likely, it’s a scam.

Here are some tips to help you avoid this phishing email scam:

  • Never click on links or download attachments from unknown emails. Out-of-the-blue emails are often an attempt to download malware to your computer and or steal your personal information.
  • Don’t take unsolicited emails at face value. scammers often send out mass emails that contain little or no personal information.
  • Go to the source. Whenever possible, use the customer service information that was provided to you when you made your purchase, rather than searching online.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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