Phishing scheme uses retailers’ logos

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Attention Wal-Mart shoppers, a new phishing scheme may be appearing in your inbox.

Hackers send an e-mail posing as a store or retailer in an attempt to steal your identity, and lately their chain of choice seems to be Wal-Mart.

“I was ordering photo calendars for different family members, through Walmart.com,” said Carmela Krajewski.

She had just put in her last two orders for photo calendars to give as gifts, when she started receiving authentic-looking e-mails that there were problems delivering the merchandise. They contained a link to a website to resolve the issues, but that’s when Krajewski’s anti-virus software put out a warning.

She noted, “What threw me for a loop is, the e-mails have their logo, their letterhead. It looks authentic. So it’s scary.”

Krajewski confirmed the e-mails were fake by simply going back and checking with Wal-Mart to see if there were any problems with her orders, and there were not.

“And then when I finally did call Wal-Mart and got a customer service number, that’s when I was informed that that this was a phishing scam,” she added.

Peggy Penders of the Upstate Better Business Bureau says never click on a link or open an attachment from someone you don’t know and trust. One click, and a hacker can plant a bug in your computer reeling in all your personal information, including Social Security and bank account numbers.

“You really need to think of it like a fishing line, just coming right into your computer with a hook, hoping to bait consumers into that opportunity,” Penders said. “Because phishing is such a prevalent element in our society today, and it can cause us so much trouble, you really never want to anything unless you can actually verify.”

Krajewski is afraid to think what could have happened if it wasn’t for her computer security software.

“You don’t know who is out there, and your information is just out there, and they could just steal your identity, ruin your credit,” she said.

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