CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: How to spot a scam email offering retail rewards

Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 6:00 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2022 at 3:57 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - For thieves, ‘tis the season to be naughty. Scammers are sending out emails pretending to offer deals from major retailers.

In this Consumer First Alert, we show you how to spot a fake.

One of the emails purports to be an offer for a Kohl’s loyalty program with a pricy Le Creuset dutch oven as a reward.

Another offer pretends to be from Dick’s Sporting Goods promising an expensive Yeti cooler to entice you to click a link.

Another phony offer uses the Costco logo to entice you to click on a marketing survey to win $90.

An impostor using CVS asks you to share your pharmacy experience for a cash reward.

The Federal Trade Commission says scammers send thousands of these phishing attacks per day. They make changes to messages hoping to convince.

“Scammers are using any way they can to get your attention,” says Tiffany Schultz, Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin.

Never click on these links. Schultz explains how to spot a fake.

“All you have to do is look in the email address. You can actually hover over the email address. If it’s coming from Amazon or Kohl’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods, it’s going to be something like info@kohls info@dickssportinggoods, not a bunch of gibberish. These promotions that are being sent to you via email are actually phishing attempts designed to get your personal information, or they could possibly be downloading malware or spyware to your device once you click on that link. So if you get something like this and it’s not coming from a legitimate retailer, go ahead and delete it and don’t even open it,” Schultz says.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is trying to get ahead of the scammers with a warning on the retailer’s website.

The company shares examples of scam emails and text messages.

So what if you fall for a phishing scam? If you suspect a scammer has your credit card, bank account, or social security number, you can find help at the government’s Identity Theft website.

The website walks you through steps to follow based on the information you lost.

One victim thought he won a free product from Kohl’s and said he was asked for a credit card to pay for the shipping. He ended up getting a second charge for nearly $100.

If the offer seems too good to be true - especially if it’s free - it’s likely fake.