A reader gave me a heads-up about a new take on a phishing scam:

I received your latest newsletter today, and after reading the item about scams thought you’d be interested in the following. I have a laptop computer (which my wife actually purchased last year from Best Buy). She today received the e-mail I copied below. At the time of purchase, we did not buy a service contract and do not want one now.

I called the number on the e-mail to advise them of that and quickly assessed that it was a scam. In fact, I had to call twice, since the first person hung up on me when I questioned what he wanted me to do. The second time I called, that fellow wanted me to enable access to my computer. When I flatly told him I would not do so, he also hung up.

The graphics closely resemble the Best Buy letterhead. The obvious difference is in the e-mail address. It is also noteworthy that they indicate the current contract expires today – so I’d better act right away. 

The bottom line – you can’t reinforce enough about watching out for scams.”

Thanks for the tip. You are so right about that. Every single day people fall for these tricks. And you’re right, the letterhead does look convincing.

geek squad

This phishing trick tries to scare people by claiming that they’re about to be charged $500. Even if you didn’t purchase a computer at Best Buy, your first reaction would be to rectify the mistake. They did a pretty good job of lifting the look legitimate communication from Best Buy.

As you said, the return email address is often a giveaway, though sometimes they do a pretty good job of spoofing. You can bet that in order to remove the alleged charge from your account, you’d be required to give them your bank information.

You are also right that the urgency is a dead giveaway.

Always think before clicking on anything like this. If you have a doubt, go to the website for the company by opening a browser and putting in the address.

Great job spotting the scam.