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Spammers Exploiting Rising Unemployment to Steal Personal Details

Internet spammers are seeking to take advantage of unemployed people by twisting an old trick of sending e-mails pretending to be messages from legitimate organizations that claim they are still recruiting.

For instance, e-mail allegedly from Coca-Cola Co. says that they are recruiting people. But the fake online employment offer states that the recipient needs to submit details, mostly personal in an attached form as the first step to proceed.

Reportedly, such e-mails contain links that connect to the official website of the company to add an element of authenticity. Nevertheless, they contain a dangerous element, a virus that hides in the attachment to infect the user's computer.

Security specialists say that one method of protecting oneself is to never open e-mail attachments or click on links that arrive from strangers. In case a person hunting for a job receives one such e-mail, he must contact the HR department of the company directly to check the veracity of the application and to make sure that vacancy exists.

Another method is to not depend on the e-mail ID of the sender as evidence that a genuine source is behind the e-mail, since spammers could effortlessly spoof such e-mails.

Dermot Harnett, Principal Analyst of anti-spam engineering, Symantec, says that by using spoofed job-offer e-mails, spammers are attempting to take advantage of human curiosity, as reported by The Tech Herald on March 5, 2009.

Harnett said the reason why job scams easily dupe people is that probably people are unemployed and therefore they are hunting for new jobs. They constantly check their e-mail hoping that potential employers would send them positive responses.

Meanwhile, the ongoing recession continues to lead to the creation of job scams flooding the Internet. Hence, it becomes very important for the unemployed to differentiate between genuine work offers and the spammers' false promises, said security specialists.

Moreover, security vendors such as ScanSafe and McAfee recently said that Internet scams around job offers are being launched profusely by the con artists to capitalize on the present global economic crisis.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

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