BBB: Fake confirmation emails trick online shoppers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

BBB: Fake confirmation emails trick online shoppers

An example of a bogus email used by hackers to steal personal information. An example of a bogus email used by hackers to steal personal information.

SC (WMBF) - The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning against tricksters taking advantage of the holiday shopping rush with fake emails that appear to be confirming an order.

Online shoppers should watch out for the dubious messages as last minute shopping wraps.

According to the BBB, here's how the scam works:

You receive an email message that appears to about a recent purchase you made online. The email seems to come from a major retailer — Walmart, The Home Depot and Target were all impersonated — and informs you that your purchase is ready for pick up or has been shipped.

You don't remember ordering anything from that store, but in the holiday shopping rush it could have slipped your mind. Curious, you click on the link to read the details of your order.

Don't do it! When you click on the file, you find that it isn't information about your “order.” It's really a virus that will download to your computer. Typically, these viruses phish for personal and banking information on your machine.

How to Spot a Scam Email:

· Watch for look alike URLs. Be wary of sites that have the brand name as a subdomain of another URL (i.e. “brandname.scamwebsite.com“) or part of a longer URL (i.e. “companynamecustomersupport.com“).

· Hover over URLs in emails to reveal their true destination. Scammers can make links appear to lead to a legitimate website, when they really point to a scam site, like the examples above.

· Watch for typos and bad grammar. As in the Walmart example above, scammers can easily copy a brand's logo and colors. But their poor writing gives the email away as a scam.

· Call the store. When in doubt, call the business's customer support line to check the legitimacy of the email. Be sure to find the phone number on your bill or by typing the company name into your browser directly. Don't rely on any information contained in the email you suspect is a scam.

To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.

In a response to the fraudulent reports, FedEx issued the following information:

FedEx has received reports that there has been an increase in fraudulent emails claiming to come from FedEx. These messages typically have a vague subject referencing a FedEx tracking, invoice or item number and an attached zip file with 'FEDEXInvoice' in the file name that may contain a computer virus. If you receive a message matching this description do not open the attachment. Delete the email immediately.

To read the full message and for more information from FedEx, click here.

Greg Whinnie, Owner, of True Blue Computers in Myrtle Beach said he has seen a surge in fake emails.  "FedEx...UPS...Amazon...I've seen it, it can be anything. I've seen HTC come in the last couple of weeks where it's just asking for information 'an order didn't go thru,' 'we couldn't confirm your order' they want an action, they make a link in their to click' and you click on the link and you get a virus or its a trojan in there where they can track your information."

Whinnie explained once the program downloads onto your computer the tricksters can have access and scan all the files and look for secure information, like credit card numbers, account numbers, even your social security number. If the email is real or fake, either way, Whinnie says do not click on the links.

"Even if it is real don't click on any links even if it's your bank, I see it all the time, it asks you to reset your account by saying please click on this and put in your password, okay, somebody now has your password," said Whinnie.

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