Tell me, is this a safe and legitimate email?

I am going to try something a little different with this article as a way to learn from each other. I am going to make it interactive and request your participation, by leaving comments below. Please do not be afraid to leave a comment. You can use alias names for all I care. The strategy here is to learn from each other and to have some FUN!  The below scenario, I tested in a sandboxed environment, to determine what the outcome would ultimately be.

I am going to let you be the judge on this and tell me if this is a safe and legitimate email or not; AND how you came to that conclusion (leave comments below). There are clues… You can actually click on the email example below to see a screenshot of the site that I was ultimately directed to.

Note: All comments are moderated (by me) and may not immediately be displayed, until I approve them.

I received the following email, from what appears (visually) to be from WalMart. WalMart, being the conglomerate that they are, is going to give me a $500 gift card.

Is this a safe and legitimate email?

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Walmart_Email

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34 Responses to Tell me, is this a safe and legitimate email?

  1. TechChick says:

    I tell you, it does look legitimate and enticing, BUT as a TechChick, I know better. Walmart is not going to send out emails to give away that amount of money or merchandise. I will tell you this, non-Tech Chicks fall for this one everytime… Avoid ’em like the plague!

    Look who the email is from 🙂

    TechChick

    Like

  2. Akshat says:

    this is not a legitimate mail.
    1.In ad they are giving $1000 reward but in your mail it is only $500.
    2.In ad page it is clearly written “SurveySuperReward .com is an independent reward program and not associated with any of the above listed merchant”.

    * This is only for survey propose.

    It can be safe but it is not legitimate!

    Like

  3. Rarst says:

    Looks like someone making money off referrals to surveys. Hard to be sure by screenshots alone.

    Like

  4. Ramblinrick says:

    Akshat,

    Thank you for your professional assessment on this… Let’s see if we get further input from other readers.

    Rick

    Like

  5. Ramblinrick says:

    Rarst,

    I only took the links one level deep in this scenario… This thing was unbelievable. Bottom line is, should we even be opening these types of emails? I know to watch for these sort of things, but I tell you, I shop at Walmart and when you get a ton of emails daily and you come across this, it does throw a person into believing the legitimacy of it. As always, I enjoy your comments and advice…

    Rick

    Like

  6. techpaul says:

    I want to say that IMHO the most important thing you said was, “I opened this in a sandboxed environment”!!!
    Most people have never heard of sandboxed browsing, yet with the current state of the Internet, that should be our default behavior.

    1) Google “riverwrong.com” the folks (supposedly) sending this offer.

    2) Whenever you open an e-mail like this (or, your Preview Pane opens it for you) you have verified your e-mail address as legit, which gets noted, and you can expect more such *fantastic offers*.

    Like

  7. techpaul says:

    … I did not add this, because we have all heard it — haven’t we? It is the oldest tech advice I know.

    When you get an unexpected e-mail…
    Never. Click. The. Link.

    Don’t tell me you never heard that!

    Like

  8. Bill Mullins says:

    How hard is it to understand – NOTHING is ever for NOTHING. Don’t we learn this in Kindergarten?

    People who respond to this type of email should be banned for life from using a computer.

    Like

  9. Cappydawg says:

    I would say this is not a legit email. Just look at the extension on the email. .riverwrong>com. HMMMMMMM
    And being from supergiftgivers sounds fishy to me. Personally if I got this I would junk it. Rather be safe than sorry. Maybe it can be checked on WOT??

    Like

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Cappydawg,

      Thanks for commenting… You are right “on” and very observant with this. It actually got worse and was a layered email….

      P.S. Love your name…

      Rick

      Like

  10. Ramblinrick says:

    Folks,

    Keep the comments coming… As you can see, from my respected Tech Associates, the point is DO NOT even entertain the thought of opening these emails. That one click can cost you… Thanks Guys…

    Rick

    Like

  11. Ramblinrick says:

    Folks,

    Read TechPaul’s comment and the article he is directing you to… Us guys are bunch of internet (“point and shoot”) dummies…

    Rick

    Like

  12. freewareelite says:

    Rick,

    I received the same email a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t sure and I was afraid that there was some spyware or virus in it. I googled “riverwrong.com” but there were no results! I think this kind of email is just directing you to a survey site to give the website owner more money. Anyway, Rick, thanks for telling me where that email linked to!

    Adrian

    Like

  13. techpaul says:

    Oh, that isn’t quite what I was trying to say…
    The badguys carefully craft their ploys to target specific people and/or types of people in what is currently being called “social engineering”.

    They’re smart enough to (at least try) send their cheap V1@gra come-ons to men, and their cheap cosmetics come-ons to women.

    Sometimes they get quite specific — say, targeting executives at a certain bank — in what is termed “spear phishing”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spear_phishing.

    Since there are literally billions of these spam messages being sent every hour, I just wish someone would get serious about putting a stop to it.

    Like

    • Ramblinrick says:

      TechPaul,

      You are right, these things are targeted for specific audiences… The readers here need to jump to your site to see some of the examples you have posted…

      Thanks for providing some excellent examples (links) for this article…

      Rick

      Like

  14. pochp says:

    I don’t trust the mail.
    First, it was unsolicited.
    Secondly, it asks you to click a link which is unnecessary if the mail is legit.

    Like

  15. Ben Zipperer says:

    I really really hate these things and the damage they do to my clients.

    At least the person who dreamed this up displayed a little bit of humor by using riverwrong.com instead of digitalriver.com.

    Like

  16. Pirate Frank says:

    Yea, and Obama is going to save us all!!!! I am laughing all the way to the bank 🙂

    Like

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Frank,

      It’s one of those emails where the user says, “I opened it O ba ma self” (LOL)… The culprits behind these types of email schemes are laughing all of the way to the bank.

      Rick

      Like

  17. pochp says:

    Hey Rick,
    I know that that would be your reply too if you replied ahead of me 🙂

    Like

  18. […] Tell me; is this a safe and legitimate email? – I am going to try something a little different with this article as a way to learn from each other. I am going to make it interactive and request your participation…. […]

    Like

  19. Cappydawg says:

    Hey Ramblinrick,
    Thanks for the compliment on the name. Did WOT have anything to say about your email? I was just curious. We had one from fedex about 2 months ago at the office and the owner open it. It kept me busy for 2 days. I ended up reformatting the drive. These emails are terrible and we all need to get together and stop them. But I know it is a big task.

    Like

  20. Michael says:

    UPS, Bank of America, Your computer needs these updates are recent subject lines I have seen from my email appliance. Problem doesn’t seem to be getting any worse or better. Just manageable “noise”.

    Like

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Michael,

      Thank you for your input… Sounds like you know what to look for when these “bogus” emails arrive at your doorstep. Sad part is that many people think these emails are “for real” and often become victims of malware, theft, identity theft, etc… I knew a lady that fell for an email that looked like from her bank and prompted for an account number. She followed through and the thieves didn’t take the a whole lot of money at a time, they tapped it slowly… Bank eventually caught on…

      Rick

      Like

  21. Ramblinrick says:

    Cappydawg,

    When I started clicking the links (in a sandboxed environment to protect my PC), I went very deep into this and WOT did not warn at any time…

    There is no end to these bogus links, whether it is in email, website, search results, etc.. Trouble can be one click away. Definitely keeps a tech in business…

    Hey have you ever tried Acronis True Image (or other imaging options) to image your drives at work? When I got PC’s in, I set them up the way I wanted, then imaged the drive. I something bad happened I would restore back to the image…

    Thanks for commenting and participating in this…

    Rick

    Like

  22. Dave says:

    I would be very leary since I first do not have a walmart card. secondly the issuer is not one I recognize. If I did not originaly verify somehting I would not expect to receive a verification of a reply.

    Like

  23. pochp says:

    Hey Rick, you’re not serious are you? 🙂

    Like

  24. Cappydawg says:

    Ramblinrick,

    No I haven’t tried Acronis True Image but I will definitley check into it. By the way, I read your blog daily. I am hoping to start one this fall about software I use on my computers. I will let you know when I do it. I am an opensource and freeware computer junkie. GREATTTTTTTT BLOGGGGGGGGGGG!!!

    Like

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