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Thread: Beware - Best Buy Scam

  1. #1
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    North Central Arkansas

    Beware - Best Buy Scam

    By Robert Lemos
    Staff Writer, CNET
    June 19, 2003, 2:18 PM PT

    Best Buy moved on Thursday to limit potential damage from an e-mail scam that sent potential victims to a look-alike Web site in an attempt to convince them to give up their credit-card information.

    The Minneapolis, Minn.-based electronics and consumer-goods chain consulted with both the Federal Trade Commission's identity-theft group and federal and state law enforcement to try and track down those responsible for an e-mail message that apparently started circulating Wednesday.

    "The clear message we are trying to send is it is not from Best Buy," company spokeswoman Lisa Hawks said.

    The e-mail tells a recipient that an order made on used the person's credit-card information, and it asks the recipient to follow a link to the company's page for its fraud department. The link actually goes to a different Web site, which masquerades as Best Buy's site and requests personal information.

    Instances of the scam e-mail, sent to CNET by readers, show that different Web sites are being used to host the ploy. Two different links were found, indicating that a single perpetrator is trying to stay ahead of the Internet service providers or that a copycat has started using the message. Both sites had been taken down by their hosting providers as of Thursday morning.

    The disguise is new, but the scam is old. E-mail messages that refer recipients to Web sites that masquerade as legitimate e-commerce sites have targeted customers of PayPal, eBay, Wells Fargo Bank and others.

    Employees of law firm Gray Cary have wised up to such scams, said Don Jaycox, chief technology officer for the firm. Despite dozens of employees receiving the bogus Best Buy e-mail, none reported falling for it.

    "We have trained all our people to be distrustful of things they get in e-mail," Jaycox said. "Our advantage is that they listen to the warnings."

    Best Buy's Hawks said that the company hadn't yet heard of anyone falling for the scam, but warned that Best Buy has its work cut out for it in notifying potential victims.

    "It's not just Best Buy customers, necessarily, it is Joe Consumer," Hawks said. "That's why we are being proactive about getting the word out."

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Interesting read. thanks for the news. Did anyone ever get this email?

  3. #3
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    North Central Arkansas
    Received an email from Best Buy this morning. This is what it said:


    Late Wednesday afternoon, June 18, 2003, Best Buy became aware of an unauthorized and deceptive e-mail to consumers titled "Fraud Alert." That e-mail message, which requested personal information (i.e., social security and credit card numbers), claimed to come from the Fraud Department. That message was NOT from Best Buy or any of our affiliates.

    Best Buy is working with the appropriate law enforcement authorities to quickly resolve the situation. We are working to shut down sites affiliated with that unauthorized e-mail and Best Buy will work with law enforcement authorities to prosecute any perpetrators involved in this illegal act to the fullest extent of the law. If you replied to the fraudulent
    e-mail in any way, contact your bank and/or credit card companies immediately.

    No Best Buy systems have been compromised, and our online business is secure. The privacy of your personal information is of the utmost importance to Best Buy and any information you provide to us is handled according to our Privacy Policy.

    As part of the preparation for the relaunch of, online purchasing will be temporarily unavailable beginning Friday, June 20; however, our product information and helpful resource articles will still be available. Rest assured, the fraudulent e-mail will not affect the launch of our redesigned Web site.

    If you have any questions, call Customer Care at 1-888-BEST BUY (237-8289) or visit our Online Pressroom.

    To find out more about protecting your information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Web site at

    Thank you for being a valued Best Buy customer.

    If you've opted out of Best Buy promotional e-mails, don't worry: you haven't been signed up again. We just wanted to make sure you knew about this situation, regardless of whether you receive Best Buy promotional e-mails. You will NOT continue to receive Best Buy promotional e-mails. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Near Life Experienced TZ Veteran zipp51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I got the notification from bestbuy but unless my junk mail filter got rid of it,I have gotten the actual e-mail message.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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