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Walmart '$75 Credit for Customers' Phishing Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from Walmart claims that the recipient has been chosen to receive a prize of $75 just for being a customer of the company. The recipient is instructed to fill in an attached form to claim the $75 prize.



Brief Analysis
The message is not from Walmart and the recipient has not won $75. The message is a phishing scam designed to trick recipients into submitting their personal and financial information to Internet criminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 21st May 2012
First published: 21st May 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Account to credit your 75$ reward

Dear Walmart Customer,

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc will add credit to your account just for beeing out customer. You have been chosen by wall-mart online department to claim you prize. This prize has been sent only to a few people from our random generator!. Please download, fill out and submit the form, and claim your 75.

Walmart



Detailed Analysis
According to this rather crudely rendered phishing attempt, the recipient has been chosen to receive a prize of $75 from giant American retail chain, Walmart "just for beeing out customer". Supposedly, the lucky winner is one of just a few people chosen by a random generator to win the $75 prize. The "winner" is instructed to "download" an attached form and fill out and submit it so that the money can be credited to his or her account.

Of course, the message is not from Walmart and the promise of a $75 prize is simply the bait used to trick users into submitting their personal information to phishing criminals. Those who fall for the ruse and open the attached file will be presented with the following HTML form, which is displayed in their web browser:

Fake $75 credit form


The bogus form asks for credit card details as well as other personal information including the user's Social Security number. All of the information submitted via the fake form will be sent to the scammers who can then use it for credit card fraud and identity theft.

Very similar scams have used the names of other high profile companies including Coca Cola and McDonald's. Be very cautious of any unsolicited email that claims you can receive money from a specified company as a reward for being a customer or for filling in a brief survey. While genuine companies may offer incentives to customers via prize promotions they are extremely unlikely to select winners at random from among people who have never actively participated in the promotion. Nor would they be likely to send out such prize notifications via unsolicited spam emails. And, even if a legitimate company was to offer such a reward, it certainly would not expect customers to submit sensitive personal and financial information via an unsecure web form sent as an email attachment.

These prize scam emails can often be identified by very poor spelling and grammar and by the total lack of any competition entry details or terms and conditions. If you receive such a message, do not open any attachments or click on any links that it may contain.

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References
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information
Coca Cola Survey Phishing Scam
McDonald's Survey Phishing Scam Email
Difference Between http & https

Last updated: 21st May 2012
First published: 21st May 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer