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January 24, 2014
Don’t click on post-holiday email scams posing as Costco and Walmart

SEATTLE — Consumers, keep an eye out for a post-holiday email scams carrying malicious malware disguised as a link to a helpful “change of address” form. Malware is software used to disrupt computer operation and gather sensitive information.

Washington consumers have reported receiving emails containing names and logos of legitimate companies such as Costco and Walmart, notifying the recipient that their “order has been cancelled.” Scams that employ the names and logos of trusted businesses are a favorite of con artists.

The emails imply the retailer was unable to deliver an order due to an incorrect shipping address. The message attempts to entice recipients into clicking on a link in order to correct the shipping address.

Clicking on the link in the email prompts the recipient to download a change of address form. However, instead of downloading a form, consumers download malware that infects their computer.

While security threats come in many different forms, the defense is always the same: Delete these emails and do not click on any links in them or open any attachments.

According to the Attorney General’s consumer experts, variations of these messages have been around for a while and resemble common phishing scams — emails that look like they originate from a legitimate company but are actually scams designed to obtain personal information.

The cancelled order scams are common during and after the holidays as con artists try to hook online shoppers.

Visit the company’s website directly to track orders. The Attorney General’s website also offers additional internet safety tips and advice here


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