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Technology

Microsoft is emailing out gift cards (No, it’s not a scam)

Phishing scams usually try to entice victims to click on malicious links. Those links can lead to fake websites where scammers hope you will enter personal details or banking information for them to steal. Tap or click here to see a recent fake invoice from Microsoft scam.

You can never be too cautious when it comes to unsolicited emails. After all, business impersonation emails have grown in popularity with hackers. From mimicking Amazon order notifications to free Netflix subscriptions, scammers will use all the tricks they can.

But, if you did receive an email from Microsoft lately, you might want to hold off on deleting it. Here’s why that email probably doesn’t belong in your spam folder.

Here’s the backstory

You could be forgiven for just glancing at the Microsoft communication and hitting the delete button. But it is really from Microsoft and you could be missing out on some legitimate gift cards.

A user on Twitter questioned if the campaign was authentic and was subsequently confirmed by the tech giant. It seems that Microsoft is sending out emails to random users with gift cards to its online store, ranging from $10 to $100.

It is unclear at this stage who is eligible for the gift card and exactly why Microsoft is being so generous. The text accompanying the email doesn’t shed any light on it either. So, you might want to dig through your spam or deleted folder to see if you are one of the lucky ones.

What to do next

While this campaign from Microsoft will no doubt put a smile on any recipient, you must be cautious of emails that claim you are getting a free gift card. Here are some ways to stay safe online:

  • Never click on a link or download attachments when found inside an unsolicited email.
  • If you are not sure if a link is real, go to the official website directly. You can also hover your mouse over the link the get a preview of where it is pointing.
  • Your first line of defense is antivirus software. Keep it running and updated! We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. With TotalAV, you get so much more than antivirus protection. It’s the full package: A security suite that protects your computer and smartphone from today’s threats. Get the Best Security Suite for 2021 and save big at TotalAV.com/Kim. That’s just $19 for an entire year of protection.

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