Some selfish Aussies are unhappy with $620 million worth of unwanted Christmas presents, according to research for some free publicity for an online selling platform. Comment below if you wish as we take a brief look at it?
Shopping gift voucher scams in emails turned up in my inbox over the weekend. I was aware of them before because they have been around for years but rarely see them. They also arrive in SMS messages people say as well. Every day someone asks on the Facebook page of ALDI, Coles, Woolworths, IGA, Myer and Bunnings if the shopping gift voucher is a scam. If you receive such an email then those Facebook pages and the official website of those companies is the first place to look for assurances that the vouchers are a scam.
Here are the two emails in the images below. Some discussion follows.
You will see that in these emails, as well as similar ones for Bunnings, Coles, Woolworths and IGA, that the company logo has been used to make it appear legitimate. However, the dead giveaway that it is a scam is seen when you hover your mouse over any link within the email. It is some long URL from a different domain than the company’s official domain. I also look for php file extensions at the end of the domain. These contain data gathering scripts. I left the URL in the Myer image above as an example of the type of long and convoluted URL used by scammers.
It is a phishing scam. Basically what the scammers want you to do is complete a useless survey. Then you are asked to enter personal details, like a bank account number, that can be used in identity theft or in other ways to defraud you of money. You might also be asked to download software that could be used as a back door for scammers. Always delete the message and never visit the link and enter any information or pay any money. It is just plain old common sense.
Here is a Facebook reply to me from ALDI today in response to the scam using their logo.
Hi Adelaide. There are currently active scams via Facebook ads, pop up ads, email, and SMS purportedly giving away free ALDI vouchers or gift cards for entering personal details, completing surveys and signing up for alerts. These are not associated with ALDI Australia. Any competition run by ALDI Australia would be communicated via this website, our email newsletter, or our official ALDI Australia Facebook page. If you believe you are a victim of a scam email or SMS or you see a voucher scam advertised on Facebook, please report these to the ACCC Scamwatch. Thank you.
ScamWatch, Beware of fake vouchers that end up costing you more, 16 January 2015.
ScamWatch, Beware of scam gift voucher & product offers on social networking sites, 4 November 2011.
I have previously posted in the news section about a few other scams going around in recent years. The tax office “you owe us money” phone call and the “fix your computer” one are just two other examples. Hang up on the suckers.