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Apr. 6th, 2012


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Norton Scientific Reviews: Scammers’ Valentine Treat

A global security company issued a scam warning against spam messages with catchy subject lines for Internet users this Valentine’s season.
Users must be extra careful in opening messages in their email accounts especially during the holidays as they can receive spam mails meant to get their attention and steal their personal data.
One such scam warning issued by an antivirus company describes email messages that invites users to buy a gift for his/her loved one for Valentine’s using an attached discount coupon from Groupon.
Even though the proliferation of coupon services is not totally an illegal method, their popularity comes with the risk of being used in phishing attacks.
Phishing can be done by sending a massive amount of email messages asking people to enter their details on a bogus website — one that looks very similar to the popular auction sites, social networking sites and online payment sites. They are designed to obtain personal details like passwords, credit card information, etc.
Through including links in email messages, scammers trick users into visiting malicious sites and online stores, obtaining personal data along the way. Most of the time, the website the link points to is not even connected to the email message but only shows the user promotional content. This is the scammer’s illegal way of earning money called click fraud — they earn for every user they have redirected to a certain website.
There is also scam making the rounds in Germany involving gift coupons, distributed through Facebook, purporting to be from Amazon.
Spywares and malwares are malicious programs that install themselves on a computer unit to record a user’s activity. Eventually, they will send the logs they have collected back to the scammer who plans on pilfering the data for online crimes.
Scammers are freely exploiting different online platforms like Orkut, Myspace, Google+ and Twitter to cast their net on millions of users.
Yet another malicious spam has been spreading on Facebook, and like its predecessors, it makes use of users’ walls to post the fake message.
The post might appear harmless to most users as it only poses an invitation to install a Valentine’s Day theme for their Facebook profile. However, once a user clicks the malicious post, they will be redirected to a different webpage containing the install button.
Clicking install will not do any change to your profile though; worse, it will install a malware file that will show various ads and surveys and download an extension to monitor the user’s online behavior.