This week’s ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert found shopping and shipping scams are still plentiful across the internet. But a growing threat is a new trend among scammers.
Because scams have become so plentiful and so many people have been victimized, scammers are contacting people with the promise to help them avoid scams. What could go wrong?
Trend Micro's research team identified a scammer in the act of conducting email fraud. The scammer said he is a chairman of an anti-fraud unit in the Nigerian government and The United Nations Organization, helping fraud victims settle the lost amount. The scammer asked victims to reply to an email with their personal information. Trend Micro detected 1,243 logs on September 4th.
Trend Micro’s research team identified an email sender claiming they were from the office of the United Nations and the World Bank, to help with the anti-fraud issue. The scammers said someone stated that he got the victim’s authorization to receive the 10.4 million funds, asking the victim to reply to the email in case a wrong payment occurred. Trend Micro found 197 logs on September 2.
“In a twist on preying upon consumers' concerns over scams and fraud, scammers are using emails purportedly from known organizations discussing anti-fraud and how they can help a victim,” said Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro. “Once again, consumers should beware of messages claiming money owed to them or asking for their personal information.”
Back to School Shopping Scam
Between July 1-August 27, Trend Micro found 179,646 back-to-school shopping-related scam URLs in the US. The number of scams URLS identified increased by 31.3% compared to the past 7 days, which also doubled compared to last week.
Trend Micro detected a 72.08% increase year over year.
The top five states being targeted the most in 2023 (in order): Oregon, Virginia, California, Texas and New York.
The kids are back in school just about everywhere but scammers are continuing to target parents with phony deals on phony shopping websites. Some offer free products like iPhones in exchange for your personal information.
USPS Shipping scam
Trend Micro's research team identified scammers impersonating USPS to inform users they parcel delivery failed due to incomplete address information and asked victims to fill out personal and credit card information on fake USPS websites.
The top five states being targeted are Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, California and Wisconsin.
Victims of this scam report receiving a text message with an unfamiliar or strange web link that indicates 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.”
Trend Micro's research team identified scammers pretending to be Walmart’s online support and informing victims they won a television, iPad, or iPhone in a competition in the past. To claim the prize, victims were promoted to provide their personal and credit card information to the ‘online support.’
The top five states being targeted are Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Texas and Virginia.
Scammers don’t seem to want to let go of this scheme, either. It’s been a regular item on the Threat Alert for months.
But now, instead of offering a gift card for filling out a bogus survey, scammers are posing as Walmart customer service reps, telling victims they won a big prize. It claim it – you guessed it – people have to provide personal information like Social Security numbers.
Trend Micro identified scammers impersonating Sportify, notifying customers that their account will be suspended due to payment failure unless they make the payment via the fake Spotify website. This fake website was made by scammers to steal personal financial information from victims. Trend Micro found 183 logs on September 3.
Scammers have long used this ploy to steal credit card and personal information. In the past they have posed as Netflix or Amazon. The Spotify impersonation is relatively new, but growing.