As we predicted, scammers quickly turned their attention from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, hoping to capitalize on the holiday. This week’s ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert finds a couple of new schemes victimizing consumers, as well as scams that have become regulars on the list.
Father’s Day Shopping Scam
From May 15 to May 22, Trend Micro's research team found 76,863 Father’s Day-related shopping scams globally and 30,721 Father’s Day-related shopping scams in the US. Most of these scams use shopping discounts to attract users to purchase on fake shopping websites.
The top 5 states being targeted are Virginia, California, Oregon, Florida, and Illinois.
This scam is almost a carbon copy of the Mother’s Day scam that was so common during March and April. It’s also typical of shopping scams that target consumers looking for a good deal.
A lot of these scams use Facebook and other social media to find their victims. But some go to the trouble of setting up a fake website.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, scammers often create fake websites that are so similar to the sites of popular retailers, it easily tricks consumers into providing payment information. The scammers take your information and your money, but you never receive the products.
Intuit QuickBooks Phishing
Trend Micro's research team detected scammers impersonating Intuit QuickBooks, an online accounting tool for small businesses, asking users to verify their identity via a fake link on the email body. Despite the fact that the link appears to be legitimate, the domain address will redirect users to a fake website that will collect the victim’s PII.
Trend Micro detected 574 logs on May 16.
The QuickBooks Phishing scam is another newcomer to the Threat Alert list. Intuit says suspicious emails claiming to be from the company are a scheme to get you to share your personal information. These scams come in different forms, but often look pretty convincing, the company says.
Intuit also says when it does send an email, it always comes from an email address that ends with @intuit.com. This includes @e.intuit.com.
“Suspicious emails will say they are from Intuit and may ask you to take actions like logging in, providing personal information, or downloading 'tools,' the company says. “If you have received one of these emails, do not open it or access any of the links.”
From April 1 to May 22, Trend Micro's research team detected 1,169 travel-related scam URLs, which increased by 13.8% compared to the past weeks. They found three fake Airbnb log-in page examples.
The top 5 states being targeted are Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
Vacation season is here and consumers who plan a trip should be extra careful this year. Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro, says the Trend Micro research team found 1,169 counterfeit travel URLs identified between April and May.
“These fraudulent URLs primarily aim to steal account credentials, with a noticeable prevalence of Airbnb scams,” Clay told ConsumerAffairs. “To prevent the risk of falling victim to these scams, we advise people to initiate logging into travel sites directly, rather than clicking links provided from an email or text message.”
Walmart Survey Scam
Trend Micro's research team detected scammers Inviting customers to participate in a satisfaction survey to receive a $500 gift card. The receivers are prompted to fill in their PII and credit card info to claim the ‘prize.’
The top 5 states being targeted are California, Texas, Washington, Illinois, and Arizona.
It seems this scam is part of the Threat Alert each week, maybe because it seems to work so well. The scam can also take different forms.
For example, scammers may contact people on social media and promise a gift card for participation. In return, victims must provide a lot of personal information, in addition to their opinions about Walmart. And of course, there is no gift card.
In other versions, they run roughly the same scheme but contact their victims by email or text. Remember, when a company offers a “gift” for filling out a survey, it’s usually something like a free hamburger. They don’t hand out $500 gift cards.
USPS Shipping Scam
Trend Micro's research team detected scammers impersonating USPS to inform customers that their parcel wasn’t delivered successfully and ask for the victim’s personal information.
The top 5 states being targeted are Michigan, Colorado, California, Illinois, and Arizona.
This scam has been around for a long time but, as the Trend Micro research team notes, appears to be gaining momentum. The Postal Service says scammers are sending out unsolicited texts that indicate a USPS delivery requires a response.
“If you never signed up for a USPS tracking request for a specific package, then don’t click the link!” USPS advises. “This type of text message is a scam called smishing.”
Victims will typically receive a deceptive text message that is intended to lure the recipient into providing their personal or financial information. These scammers often attempt to disguise themselves as a government agency, bank, or other company to lend legitimacy to their claims. USPS utilizes the five-digit short codes to send and receive SMS to and from mobile phones.