The “Geek Squad” email scam refers to a new spam campaign imitating emails from Geek Squad to trick users. The main purpose of this particular malicious campaign isn’t exactly clear, though it appears that it’s trying to trick users into calling the provided phone numbers. Scammers on the other end of the line would likely either try to phish personal/banking information, have users install questionable programs onto their computers, or perform the “refund scam”.
The “Geek Squad” email scam tries to catch users’ attention by claiming a charge of $399.99 has been made to their account. The charge is supposedly for services like “Complete Network Security” or “Geek Total Protection”. $400 is certainly not a small amount of money so the email will certainly make at least a few users panic for a second.
Logically, the email makes no sense but scam emails are surprisingly effective when they catch users under the right circumstances. Money is a common topic in scam emails for a reason. It often makes users panic, thus becoming less cautious and more likely to fall for a scam. The malicious actors operating this scam are expecting users to see the $399.99 charge and immediately call the provided phone number. Since Geek Squad is a known company, users may not even question the legitimacy of the email.
The email does not have any links or email attachments as well, which may reassure some users that the email is not malicious. It appears that the main point of this malicious campaign is to force users to call the shown phone number. It’s not clear what kind of scam would be pushed if you were to call, though it will be nothing good. It’s possible that scammers would try to phish personal and payment information. For example, if you were to call to complain that you do not wish to use the services and want your money back, they may ask for your personal information (full name, date of birth, home address, phone number, etc.) to supposedly give you a refund. They would then pretend to refund you a much larger sum of money than intended by mistake and ask you to transfer them back the difference. This is known as the “refund scam”. Since the scammers didn’t actually send you any money, the money they demand would be out of your pocket. These scams usually come in a different form than this, but it’s possible that the “Geek Squad” email scam is a “refund scam”. If you’re interested in seeing how such scams work, check out the below video of a software engineer purposely engaging with “refund” scammers for education purposes.
It’s also possible that the goal of this scam is to phish banking information. Scammers may ask for banking and payment information (e.g. payment card details) to supposedly return the money. Logically, asking for payment card details when offering a refund makes no sense, but the scammers are often able to make their lies quite convincing.
How to recognize malicious emails
Malicious emails, in most cases, are fairly easy to recognize. In cases like this, when an email asks you to perform some action, there are certain things you need to take note of. First of all, check how an email addresses you. If a company whose services you actually use sends you correspondence, you will always be addressed by the name you have given them. Malicious emails, including this “Geek Squad” email scam, use generic greetings like Customer, Member, User, etc., because they do not have personal information.
Another sign of a malicious email is grammar and spelling mistakes. Geek Squad is no small company, so all of its emails will look professional. Automatic emails, in particular, will never have grammar/spelling mistakes. The same cannot be said about scam emails. For whatever reason, they are usually full of mistakes. The “Geek Squad” email scam has loads of grammar mistakes and is written in awkward-sounding English. For example, the sentence “We understand that you are busy and hence could not get through to you when we are trying to contact you”. It’s an immediate giveaway that Geek Squad did not send the email.
This “Geek Squad” email scam provides a phone number for customer support. If you were to look up the number using a search engine, you would not get any legitimate results. So that’s another sign.
“Geek Squad” email scam removal
The “Geek Squad” email scam is harmless as long as you don’t engage with it. If it landed in your inbox, you can just remove “Geek Squad” email scam. If you called the number but didn’t provide any information, you’re okay. However, if you provided your personal information, you need to be very careful in the future. Scammers may use the stolen information to make their malicious campaigns appear more convincing. And if you were somehow scammed out of your money, try contacting your bank as they may be able to do something.