WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers about a scam email that promises free pizza, but really infects your computer with malware.
The FTC says that the email looks like it’s from Pizza Hut offering a coupon for free pizza, but clicking on the coupon will just install malware on your computer
Malware is short for “malicious software” which includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer, phone, or mobile device without your consent.
These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity.
If you are not sure if the email you receive is from a real company, the FTC says to look for similar red flags that show up in the fake Pizza Hut email:
-The email might have gone to your junk folder.
-The sender’s email address isn’t a Pizza Hut email address
-When you hover over the coupon link, it doesn’t show pizzahut.com.
-If you type in the web address for Pizza Hut, you won’t see anything about free pizza on the company’s official site.
-If you do a search on Pizza Hut’s 55th anniversary, you’ll find out from news articles that the company did offered discounted pizza, but it was last year.
-Ask yourself if you signed up to get email discounts from this company. If not, it’s unlikely they’d send you a real discount out of the blue.
The FTC says if you’re not sure that an email is real, don’t click anything or open any attachments.
Instead, the FTC recommends that you go to the company’s website directly.