INDIANAPOLIS – If you regularly shop at Walmart, you’ll want to be aware of a new study that shows Walmart customers are most at risk for being targeted by phishing scams.

Cyber security website Checkpoint just released its list of the top companies or brands used in phishing scams, and Walmart is right at the top.  In the first quarter of this year, Walmart’s name and logos were used in 16% of all phishing attacks worldwide.  Other popular brands making the list included Microsoft, LinkedIn, FedEx, Google, Netflix and others.

Here are the results of the study, based on reports gathered by Checkpoint:

  • Walmart (16%)
  • DHL (13%)
  • Microsoft (12%)
  • LinkedIn (6%)
  • FedEx (4.9%)
  • Google (4.8%)
  • Netflix (4%)
  • Raiffeisen (3.6%)
  • PayPal (3.5%)

In Walmart’s case, the company showed up from 13th place last year largely due to a huge “bogus survey” scam.  People all over the world received an email, asking them to fill out an online survey about supply chain disruptions we saw during the pandemic. That was a hot button issue so it got a lot of clicks from unsuspecting victims who were directed to fake websites intended to collect their online information.  

Walmart’s website confirms the company does do surveys, which will sometimes allow participants to enter into a sweepstakes to win cash or gift cards.

“Gift cards are not given away through Twitter, Facebook, or text message,” the website clarifies.  “If you receive a notice, through one of these channels, it is likely a scam.”

In general, Walmart customers should be wary of unsolicited emails that appear to be coming from the company.

As for other popular brands on the list, Netflix continues to be utilized by scammers almost constantly. This year alone has seen multiple Netflix scams that look like realistic emails about problems with customers’ payment information.  The emails contain links directing unsuspecting victims to spoofed websites designed to gather sensitive information and hack accounts.

Scammers also seem to be turning more attention to WhatsApp users.  Scammers are using the classic “friend in need” imitation scam to trick people into sending money to someone they believe is a friend, or maybe the relative of a friend. People have been getting those phone calls and text messages for years, and now it’s popping up more on the WhatsApp messaging service.