Beware of Scams… January 14th, 2010
By Pamela A. Munoz
Overseas Communication Team
A BUZZ blogger (Ricardo) recently sent us a message about an email he received asking him to contact an express delivery company in the UK to claim a prize. This was exciting news but he also knew it sounded too good to be true!
His message served as a reminder to let our consumers know that these types of random email messages, from unknown senders, are usually phishing for information from unsuspecting consumers. These types of scams not only abuse the trust people place on companies, but have also been known to scam people out of money or become victims of identity theft, or both.
Messages may promise a Kia Soul to winners, along with a cash prize, but we suspect that other Kia models are being used, or will be, to solicit responses. This is an unfortunately misuse of our corporate name that many people have come to trust. Although Kia does often hold contests in different parts of the world, random emails of this type would not be generated to solicit personal information.
Last year, Kia Motors in the UK and Kia Motors New Zealand both issued warnings to consumers in their areas about fraudulent text messages and emails that were being distributed using the Kia Motors name.
In New Zealand mobile phone text messages were informing recipients of a lottery win and asked for banking details – this was indeed a hoax. The text message used the Kia Motors “Power To Surprise” logo and was entitled ‘Fill In and Return Kia Motor Lottery Verification Form For Approval.’ The sender was signed by a ‘Dr Anderson,’ purporting to be the Cash Officer for Kia Motors, but the giveaway did not use an official Kia Motors email address.
In the UK, scammers were tricky enough to include Kia’s genuine phone numbers and email addresses in the spam email to make it look like the real deal, but people were asked to call a separate number instead.
Kia is working as best we can with proper authorities to bring an end to these types of illegal representations of the Kia brand name. Unfortunately for us, the people who carry out such scams pop up in every region of the world; as one scam is stopped, several more appear with even smarter ways of trying to trick the public. If you have received any emails or text messages phishing for such information, we recommend you either ignore it, delete it or, if in doubt, contact your local Kia distributor.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.