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Free pizza? Don’t bite, you could put your computer at serious risk

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pizzaemailMADISON (WITI) — The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is urging Wisconsin residents to be on the lookout for emails fraudulently advertising free Pizza Hut pizzas. There is no such promotion and clicking a link in the email may cause you to inadvertently download malicious software (malware).

The spam emails claim that Pizza Hut is offering free personal pizzas to celebrate its 55th anniversary. The email has a “Get Free Pizza Coupon” button – do not click this link! Delete the email without replying or clicking any links in the message.

Scammers often create fake emails that use a company’s logo and color scheme. In the case of the fake Pizza Hut email, there are clues the email is a scam:

  • the email might have gone to your junk folder
  • the sender’s email address is not a Pizza Hut email address
  • when you hover over the coupon link, it does not show pizzahut.com
  • there are no mentions of a free pizza promotion on the official Pizza Hut website
  • if you do a search on Pizza Hut’s 55th anniversary, you will find news articles that the company did offer discounted pizza — but that promotion was last year
  • ask yourself if you signed up to get email discounts from this company. If not, it is unlikely that the company would send you a real discount out of the blue.

For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call the Consumer Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.