The holiday shopping season may be over, but scammers aren’t calling it quits yet. Con artists are sending phony emails and texts that look like messages from major retailers instructing you to redeem the reward points accrued during your holiday shopping. Just hit delete on these phishing messages!
How the Scam Works
You receive an unsolicited email or text message that appears to be from a major retailer. (BBB has seen scammers use the names of Amazon, Kohls and Costco… but any company can be spoofed.) The subject line reads something like “You Have a New Reward to Claim!”
You open the message, and it looks real. There’s the company logo, colors, and a link to claim the reward points or gift from your recent holiday shopping. As curious as you may be, don’t fall for it. Scammers hide malware in these email links or attachments. When you click, they can gain access to your computer and steal your sensitive personal information.
BBB has also seen these phishing scams pop up after Amazon’s Prime Day and other major shopping events.
Avoid Falling for Email Phishing Scams
- 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. If the email doesn’t mention you by name or include any personal information, be wary.
- Hover on links to see their destination. Before clicking, place your mouse over links to discover their true destination.
- 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.
For More Information
Learn more about phishing scams at BBB.org/PhishingScam.
If you’ve gotten a phony email from a retailer, help others avoid the same pitfall by filing a scam report at BBB.org/ScamTracker.