Scam Email Examples
This is a scam email that malicious actors used to pose as Geek Squad. Here is how you could identify it as a scam.
If you think your email was compromised by a scam email from “Geek Squad,” check out our Free Dark Web Scan below. We have a free tool to let you know if your email is on the Dark Web.
What Is Geek Squad?
Geek Squad is a subsidiary of Best Buy, and both are legitimate companies. They are best known for its services in-store, on-site, and over the Internet via remote access in helping customers with technical issues.
Geek Squad also provides 24-hour telephone and emergency on-site support. This makes it an attractive target for scammers to impersonate. Many people Geek Squad typically helps are not incredibly tech savvy. Scammers consider these people easy targets.
The Fake Geek Squad Email Scam
Geek Squad scams refer to fraudulent schemes that target individuals by pretending to be representatives from Geek Squad, a well-known computer repair and technical support service provided by Best Buy. Scammers may use various methods to deceive their victims, such as phone calls, emails, or pop-up messages, claiming to be Geek Squad agents. Some common types of Geek Squad scams include:
- Tech support scams: Scammers may call or send a message, claiming that they’ve detected a problem or virus on your computer. They will then try to convince you to give them remote access to your computer or ask you to pay for their “services” to resolve the issue. Once they have access to your computer, they may steal your personal information or install malware.
- Refund scams: Scammers may claim that Geek Squad owes you a refund due to an overcharge or canceled service. They’ll ask for your bank account or credit card information to process the refund, but instead, they’ll use that information to steal your money.
- Phishing scams: Scammers may send emails or messages disguised as Geek Squad, directing you to a fake website or asking you to click on malicious links. These links can install malware on your computer, or the website may be designed to steal your login credentials and personal information.
To protect yourself from these scams, consider the following tips:
- Be skeptical of unsolicited calls or messages claiming to be from Geek Squad or any other tech support service.
- Never give remote access to your computer or share personal information with someone you don’t trust.
- Keep your antivirus and operating system software up-to-date.
- Don’t click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown sources.
- If you receive a suspicious call or message, contact Geek Squad or Best Buy directly using the official contact information available on their website to verify the communication.
- Regularly monitor your financial accounts for suspicious activity and consider using two-factor authentication for your online accounts
Individuals posing as Geek Squad representatives or tech support may scam people by requesting payment for unnecessary services or stealing personal information. To avoid being scammed, it is important to be cautious when providing personal information or payment to individuals claiming to be from Geek Squad, and to verify the identity of the person you are dealing with.
You can also check with Best Buy, the parent company of Geek Squad, to ensure that the individual is a legitimate representative of the company.
The scammers on the phone may attempt to ask for more and more of your personal information. They may ask for your financial information, like your credit card or bank account to “check” or “correct” payment details.
They may also claim that a “cancellation” or “service” fee must be paid before they could take the fraudulent charge off your account. However, the fake charge was never made to your bank account in the first place.
14 Ways To Spot Email Scams
1. Check for grammar or spelling mistakes.
Mass emails companies send to their customers are often written by professionals well-versed in English and communications. Meanwhile, email scams are often written by people who are not fluent in English. Therefore, grammar or spelling mistakes are dead giveaways for a scam.
A well-known and well-established entity like Geek Squad will not send their customers messages with grammar and spelling mistakes.
2. Check for generic or strange greetings.
Scammers often begin their emails with “Dear valued customer” or “Dear customer.” This is because scammers will mass send these emails to thousands of emails obtained from data breaches.
If the greeting does include your name, don’t just automatically assume it is a legitimate email. The hacker can guess your name from your email address or find it online.
3. Check the email address.
If the email does not come from an official Best Buy email, steer clear. Block the sender, and report the email as spam.
If it looks like a Best Buy email, look closer. Hackers often create look-alike emails like “B3stBuy@gmail.com” or “BestBuyCustomerServiceDesk@gmail.com.” However, companies like Best Buy will not use a Gmail address to contact their customers.
4. Check the images and logos.
If the images and logos in the email seem poor quality, strange, or weirdly formatted, it is likely a scam. Companies care about their brand image and would not send out poorly designed emails to customers.
Hackers incorporate images and logos to convince you that the email is legitimate. However, they often are placed in weird spots in the email that give the scam away.
5. Check for email attachments.
If the email includes attachments, it is likely a scam. Most retailers would redirect you to a secure site to look at online documents.
Do not click the attachments. The attachments likely contain viruses or malware that steal your data and harm your computer.
6. Grammar Mistakes
The third sentence of the email reads, “This Subscription Will be Auto-Renew…” Grammar mistakes like these will not be present in official Geek Squad emails.
7. Awkward Formatting
The email is formatted in an awkward fashion. The beginning is right-aligned, but the customer service information is right-aligned. Then, the product description bullet points are arrows that aren’t typically used in mass company emails directed toward consumers.
8. Generic Greeting
The email uses “Dear User” as the greeting. This generic greeting should already begin ringing alarm bells in your head.
9. Sense Of Urgency
Scams often give off a sense of urgency. This is because scammers want you to act first and think later. This gives scammers the advantage of people not picking up on the red flags until it is too late. The 48 hours notice may cause some victims to panic and call the number immediately.
However, when you read that, you should immediately associate it with a scammer’s tactic.
10. Strange Sign-Off
The sign-off is awkward and strange: “Regards, Team.” The sign-off doesn’t make sense and is another obvious sign that the email is a scam.
This second fake Geek Squad email also has many red flags.
11. Generic Greeting
The email uses “Dear Customer” as a way to greet all the potential victims the scammers could fool. If you receive an email that uses a generic greeting, especially if it discusses financials or personal information, consider it suspicious and proceed with caution.
Large companies are very particular with their logo usage. This is because marketing teams want to ensure that consumers are fed a consistent and reliable indicator of a brand’s logo. Geek Squad never puts its logo in a box for any marketing purposes.
If you see a familiar logo in an email that looks slightly off, Google the logo. Check to see if any iterations of the logo are the same as the one in the email. If not, it is most likely a scam.
13. Grammar Mistakes
Again, large companies often have dedicated marketing and communications teams. It’s unlikely that you will spot a grammatical error in an email sent by a large company, let alone several.
This email reads, “We understand that you are busy and hence could not get through to you when we are trying to contact you.” The second part of that sentence is completely incorrect and reads awkwardly.
The email also includes, “If you have any question about this invoice…” This is incorrect because it should read, “If you have any questions about this invoice…”
If you see obvious grammatical errors, flag the email as spam.
14. Weird Stylistic Choices
You likely have thousands of promotional emails from companies flooding your inbox. You are likely familiar with what looks legitimate versus what seems weird.
The forest green and neon blue highlights come off as immature stylistic choices. Companies such as Geek Squad are not known for their overly flashy graphics and designs. If you see unusual or surprising stylistic choices in your emails, it’s likely spam.
Remain aware of the latest Geek Squad scams to protect you and your information from scammers. Once scammers obtain your personal information, you could be stuck changing your passwords, freezing bank accounts, or re-verifying your identity. Prevent this with smart online behaviors and cybersecurity.
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