Scammers read newspapers watch TV and surf the Internet and they know that by using a hook from the day’s top headlines, that they’ll be able to catch lots of fish. Right now, issues associated with swine flu and a potential pandemic are of global interest and that means scammers have a very large pond to go phishing in.
According to McAfee Avert Labs, an online security company, spammers began pumping out e-mails as soon as the first accounts of swine flu were being reported in the news, accounting for two percent of all spam messages. The messages include such subject lines as, “Madonna caught swine flu!” and “Swine flu in Hollywood!” The company reports that the e-mails do not contain malware but often link to online pharmacies.
According to F-Secure Corp., another online security company, more than 250 Web sites with the term “swine flu” have been registered within the first few days following the announcement of the outbreak and predict that the scams artists are preparing to use such Web sites in a variety of different online scams. F-Secure also reports that one Web site is already selling a “Swine Flu Survival Guide” PDF for $19.95. BBB offers the following advice to avoid swine flu scams:
BBB offers the following advice to avoid swine flu scams: