Christmas is just around the corner, and so are the Christmas scams! In this post, we will share with you top scams we’ve spotted this week – such as Amazon brushing, fake COVID-19 vaccines, FedEX phishing, and questionable holiday offers. Do you know how to identify and avoid these scams?
FedEx Phishing Text Messages
Phishing scams are on the rise this festive season. Be cautious! Scammers are sending fake FedEX notifications through messages when you are expecting all the Christmas goodies you’ve purchased online.
How does it work
Based on the evidence we found, scammers like to include links in the message and ‘encourage’ recipients to click on them directly – whether to verify the delivery address or to confirm acknowledgment of shipment delay.
The links provided in these text messages are phishing links, which will expose the recipient’s personal information or financial credentials away to the scammer. With such information in their reach, scammers can easily use your information without your notice or approval on identity thefts and many other types of scams.
How to avoid FedEx phishing scams?
Contact FedEx officials directly to confirm if the issues raised in the text message are indeed, legitimate. DO NOT click the links that appeared in the text. Too much trouble waiting to speak to a FedEx representative? As an alternative, you can copy/paste the link you deem suspicious and send it to Trend Micro Check for immediate scam detection.
Fake COVID-19 Vaccines
The availability of COVID-19 vaccines has been closely monitored by the media and the world at large. As everyone anticipates it, so are the scammers – smelling opportunities to scam people.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned that some vaccine-related scams are likely to emerge in many forms that include but are not limited to phone scams, robocalls, phishing messages, and emails.
Scammers would pretend to be authorities from organizations such as CDC, FDA, or WHO, or medicare companies such as Pfizer or BioNTech. In their outreach, scammers would guarantee early access to the trial of the vaccines. Using false claims like this, scammers could successfully manipulate people into giving away their personal information through phishing links and malicious attachments.
How to avoid fake COVID-19 vaccine scams?
- Always check before your next move. Don’t wire money or click an unknown link without further investigation – as much as it ‘appears’ to be legitimate. To save you some trouble from searching online, you can simply send unsure links you received to Trend Micro Check for immediate results on its security.
- Learn to use government, official organizations, or reputable news sites for the most accurate and updated information.
- Report to FTC or BBB if you believe you’ve encountered similar COVID-19 vaccine-related scams for help!
The Norfolk Police Department’s Holiday Sweater Scam
Fake holiday discounts are especially common during the festive season of gift-giving. Recently, many people have received text messages about the Norfolk police department’s holiday sweater & gift sale. However, the police department has already posted on its official Facebook page to announce these are indeed fraudulent text messages.
How does it work
Scammers claimed in these text messages that the Norfolk police department is selling holiday sweater with a link, urging recipients to click it for “42% off.” As mentioned in the past, these links are very likely to be malicious or phishing. If you enter your personal information, scammers can easily collect and use them for other scams, such as identity theft.
How to avoid being scammed by fake holiday discounts?
Contact the organization or shop directly if you receive similar texts/emails to verify the authenticity of the discount. Unless you are 100% sure of the link’s safety, DO NOT click it.
For quicker detection of the security of the link, you can send the web address or screenshot of the message to Trend Micro Check for immediate results!
Check first to protect yourself from different kinds of holiday scams! Have a safe and happy Christmas🎄!
Amazon Brushing Scam
Have you ever received packages that you didn’t remember ordering? Have you seen people talking about these mysterious packages on the internet? Be careful, these are likely brushing scams!
How does it work
The strategy behind brushing scam is where unfamiliar online sellers send packages to the receiver, pretending he/she ordered the goods so the sellers can use the purchase record to write positive reviews to increase their online store reputation.
This creates serious problems for the victims. As BBB suggested, the scammers can only send you packages when they have access to your personal data – e.g. Name, Account & Password, Phone Number, Home Address… etc.
How to avoid Amazon brushing scams?
- Change your Amazon passwords immediately. Check the security status of your account. If you think your account has been compromised or hacked by scammers, you might need to consider setting up new accounts for Amazon shopping.
- Report the retailer/online shop. Contact Amazon officials and let them investigate the issue.
- It is best not to take the package you didn’t order. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you have the right to keep the goods.