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.
The message is not from Walmart and the recipient has not won $75. The message is a phishing scam designed to trick recipients into submitting their personal and financial information to Internet criminals.
Subject: Account to credit your 75$ 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.
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:
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.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!