Scammers are using the world’s largest retailer to try to rip you off. A new wave of email phishing scams pretend to be from Walmart, but are actually linked to dangerous cybercriminals.
Spam is nothing new, and I'm not talking about the kind that comes from a can that you can deep-fry. Spam, junk mail, and phishing attempts have been around since the beginning of email services, and they're not going anywhere anytime soon.
Having good junk mail and spam filters in place are usually enough to protect you from the flood of scams that come into your inbox. Click here to catch up on the right way to deal with spam.
But sometimes spam does make it to your inbox, and it's up to you to keep yourself protected.
Case in point, one of my employees got this email from Walmart claiming that there was a gift card that needed to be activated. However, one good look at the email proved it to be a scam, and I wanted to make sure that you don't make the mistake of clicking on this spammy email.
After checking out the email, it was pretty obvious that it was a scam. You can see that the email is lacking any kind of logo from Walmart itself - the logo has even been Photoshopped off the card itself - even though the store name is spelled correctly in print.
I mention the misspelling because poor grammar and spelling is the usual telltale sign that the email is a scam. There was a wave of Walmart phishing scams last year that used the misspelling "Wallmart" in the email, and it ended up costing victims millions of dollars.
However, scammers have upped their game recently and most new spam and phishing scams don't have any misspellings, so it can be trickier to tell at first glance on some emails.
Also, when the mouse is hovered over the links in the email itself, none of the links show Walmart in the address preview at the bottom left corner of the browser window. You can also see that the sender of the email is not from Walmart.
I wanted to be sure that I was covering all the bases, so I checked out the Walmart official site, and they have a special help page just for scams like these. Click here to find out more.
Do you see the gray button above the image? Legitimate websites shouldn't need you to go to your desktop computer to open an email when more smartphones and tablets can handle the same tasks. That probably means it's some kind of malware that it wants to download to your computer.
One more thing: You should never, ever reply directly to a scam email. There are a couple of sentences at the bottom of this email that give a physical address and an option to unsubscribe from the emails.
But if you hover your mouse over the "HERE" link, you'll see that the link address is the same one up above in the body of the email. And I was curious about the address, so I gave it a quick Google search.
Do you know what I found? Interestingly enough, this particular physical address in Michigan has been linked with several email scams over the years.
So remember, if you come across a strange email that just doesn't seem right, do not click! You'll be saving yourself a lot of time, hassle, and possibly even your money.