When it comes to online retail, Amazon.com is a major player. One comScore study showed that Amazon Sites had the largest global audience among the retail and auction sites it analyzed, with more than 282 million visitors in one month, representing 20.4 percent of the worldwide audience. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are very aware of this and are using the Amazon brand in their latest phishing scam.
Phishing is the act of a scammer pretending to be a trusted organization like your bank, doctor’s office, or company you’ve done business with and tries to get personal information from you to steal your money or even your identity. Phishing has become extremely widespread in recent years.
The latest phishing scam appears to be from Amazon.com and confirms the processed order of an HD TV or other item but shows that it is being shipped to an address not that of the customer. What the “phisher” wants the recipient to do is see the wrong address and click on one of the links in the email such as ‘Your Order’ or ‘Merchant Contact Form’ to get the problem corrected. Links in phishing emails contain malicious viruses that capture passwords and private information from the computers or devices used.
As you can see from the image, this particular phishing email has some telltale signs of phishing: misspelling and the “From” email address has no indicators that it’s from Amazon. Other phishing scams aren’t so obvious though. A recent one that pretended to be from Verizon Wireless had the exact same graphics, fonts, and phrasing one would normally see in an email from Verizon. The email also appeared to be from Verizon but it wasn’t.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) brand itself has also been used in phishing scams, especially in the past year. Fraudulent emails seem to be about a complaint filed against you with the BBB and prompts recipients to click on a link to see the complaint.
Your best defense against phishing scams is to always verify that the email is from who it appears to be from, and to not click on any links unless you trust the sender. If you do accidently click on a link in a phishing email, run your computer’s antivirus software to hopefully catch the virus before it downloads onto your system.
What phishing scams have you come across? Were they via email, phone or text? Do you think phishing scams will heat up as the holiday shopping season gets busy? Tell us your experiences…