The Better Business Bureau is alerting the public to a new phishing scam that was reported to BBB ScamTracker by a consumer.
Scammers are impersonating Starbucks by sending mass emails to the public and apologizing for store closures due to social distancing requirements to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
They have also included virtual gift cards for recipients to access by clicking on a link and submitting personal information. On the cards, the word “apologize” is spelled incorrectly.
Starbucks has confirmed this is not a valid promotion being offered by the franchise.
Consumers can confirm existing and upcoming Starbucks promotions by checking the Starbucks app or contacting a local store.
Better Business Bureau investigations reveal the links enclosed in emails are suspicious and malicious and could result in people compromising their devices, giving hackers and scammers access to personal and confidential information.
There are also similar phishing email campaigns circulating that impersonate Lowes and Walmart.
“With more people now working remotely and are now accessing business networks from personal devices and internet connections that are not as secure, the risks are greater if your device gets compromised,” said Karla Laird, the Better Business Bureau’s manager for community and public relations.
“Think twice before opening unsolicited emails with strange links and attachments.”