SYDNEY & AUCKLAND – May 11, 2012 – Spam messages and their related scams have dropped ahead of Mother’s Day this year, however gift givers – and their mothers – are far from safe. While spam campaigns are shedding the emphasis on mass numbers, crooks are aiming for greater efficiency.
Spam campaigns that emerge around Mother’s Day and other holidays may not overwhelm inboxes like they used to since spam dropped a whopping 30 percent overall in the past year, but the messages people do receive are craftier and look more legit.
In early May, scammers started tempting German- and English-speaking Internet users with the well-known offers of jewelleries, flowers, travel gift cards, replica purses and watches, restaurant discounts, and spa or gym vouchers. Blurring the lines between advertising and spam, these emails continue to pierce the email filters tempting the users into buying things they haven’t searched for.
“As we head into another Mother’s Day, spam is not bothering as many people as much as it used to,” said Bitdefender security researcher Loredana Botezatu. “Instead of posing as a minor nuisance to millions of people, though, spammers are focusing on getting through more effectively to fewer people. The fight against spam has marked success on one front, but it hasn’t been won.”
From online booking for romantic dinners to celebrating Mother’s Day, pre-paid gift cards to irresistible luxury gifts such as genuine pearl earrings and jewelries, spammers have anything for sale. However, every purchase is fraught with risks, ranging from paying for a product users will never receive, to credit card abuse. If you are looking for the perfect gift to celebrate Mother’s Day, pay extra attention to online search results, as well as to suggestions posted on social networks and bulletin boards. While some are legit, others try to lure users into accessing links to malware, fake web shops or surveys.
If you are a mother, pay extra attention to anything in your digital universe, especially to email messages that claim to bear digital gifts, including greeting cards, coupons or discount vouchers. Weapons against spam, including spam filters deployed on email servers, crackdowns on illegal spam networks and increasing skepticism of internet users, have dealt a significant blow to spammers throughout 2011, according to Bitdefender data. Although spam is becoming less prominent, the number of messages bundled with malware is constantly rising, posing even greater threats for the unwary users. ###
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