‘Free pizza from Pizza Hut’ email carries virus

ID-10095342Do you like pizza? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? How about a ghost pizza with a side of malware to mess up your computer and put your ID at risk?

Not quite as appetizing, but that’s what you’ll get if you fall for the Pizza Hut email scam.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning the public about an email that promises a free pizza in honor of Pizza Hut’s 55th anniversary. The email contains a link for a “free pizza coupon,” but there is no coupon. If you click the link, you’ll download a virus.

Your BBB suggests the best way to avoid getting dangerous malware on your computer is to:

  • Back up your files through ‘cold storage’. If you have a clean backup that the malware can’t reach, you can get your files back. Back up your files with an external hard drive and keep it unplugged from your main hard drive when you’re not using it.
  • Research before you click. Before clicking on an unknown link or popup, take the time to research the company sending you the message by going to bbb.org first.
  • Don’t believe the message. To persuade you to click a virus-laden link or gather your personal information, con artists must earn your trust. They try to accomplish this by composing convincing-looking messages that entice people to click the advertisement.
  • Protect your personal information. Don’t provide your personal information or credit card information to an unknown company or website. If you’re thinking of purchasing something from a website, there are various icons and software programs that indicate that security software is in place, such as “https” instead of “http,” or a padlock icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • Protect your computer. Installing updates to your operating system can be done for free by enabling the option on your computer’s security center. Keep all anti-virus software up-to-date and make sure all security patches and updates are installed for programs that access the Internet.