Four phishing scams you need to avoid


Two of them are new versions of the tech support scam

Scammers are good at casting a line and setting the hook. They often pretend to be a well-known company or government agency in an effort to steal your money and personal information.

This week’s ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert identifies four phishing scams that pose a threat:

McAfee Phishing Scam 

  • Scammers impersonate McAfee to inform email receivers that viruses are damaging their devices. The scammers try to trick consumers into clicking on ‘Get Started’ to trap them. The Trend Micro Research team detected 788 logs on Oct 14. 

Roundcube Phishing Scam 

  • Scammers impersonate Roundcube Webmail Security to flag that some users’ messages have been quarantined and redirect users to click ‘Review Quarantined Message Now’ in the email body. The Trend Micro Research team found 138 logs on Oct 21. 

These two scams are versions of the tech support scam, in which the scammer tries to convince the victim that there is a security issue with their device. In some cases the scammer convinces the victim to allow them to take control of their computer, which gives them access to bank accounts.

“Recently, some of our customers have been targeted by messages that appear to be actual McAfee communications but are from cybercriminals trying to steal personal and financial information,” McAfee said in a warning to customers. It outlines some of those scams here.

MetaMask Phishing Scam 

  • Bad actors pretend to be MetaMask to warn you that your wallet will be suspended if you don’t reverify your recovery phrase on these fake sites. The Trend Micro Research team detected 105 logs on Oct 21. 

Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro, says growing interest in cryptocurrency as another form of investment has encouraged scammers to target digital wallets.

“Recently, we found a very well-written email targeting MetaMask users stating their crypto wallet has been suspended and they need to enter their passphrase which will allow attackers to take over their wallet,” Clay told ConsumerAffairs. “Anyone who has cryptocurrency accounts needs to be extremely vigorous in keeping them secure and not acting upon messages targeting them. It’s better to contact their vendor directly before acting upon any request to verify the authenticity of the request.”

Costco Phishing Scam 

  • In this Costco phishing scam, scammers inform users that they can get an exclusive reward as long as they participate in a short Halloween-themed survey. The Trend Micro Research team detected 8,521 logs on Oct 13. 

Scammers have been using fake Costco surveys for months now, suggesting that the ploy is effective. As we note, the scheme has taken on a Halloween theme lately. 

Consumers should be very careful about filling out surveys since they often ask for a lot of personal information. And be very leery of a promise of a valuable prize just for offering your opinion. That’s almost always the sign of a scam.

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