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Cyber Criminals Using Reality Show ‘Big Brother’ to Phish Personal Information

According to researchers at security firm 'Symantec', cyber criminals are trying to exploit the popularity of the UK version of a reality show 'Big Brother' through phishing e-mails that make users to disclose their personal information, as reported by mxlogic on June 16, 2009.

The new session of Big Brother actually started on June 4, 2009 in the UK. This is also the 10th season of the show on BBC4.

It has been found that phishing e-mails claim to provide the recipient a chance to participate in the show and furnish information of how to take part in the fake program.

These e-mails ask the recipient to send reply with full name, telephone number, age and address.

Moreover, Symantec users said that a casual scanning of the e-mails reveals of several spelling errors that begin from heading to the end of the message, pointing to in-authenticity of the Big Brother contest. However, impatient users do not think twice before replying to these bogus e-mails.

In fact, the growing popularity of reality shows on small screen has become an efficient way of robbing people's personal and financial information because these shows ask viewers to fill in entry forms by visiting a particular website in order to participate in them. Usual participation occur through competitions and questions announced during the show. Moreover, viewers are generally asked to send their answers by e-mail or in the form of SMS.

Scammers also use some other attractive schemes to deceive as many people as possible. One of such schemes is holiday to a foreign place.

Security experts said that these lures made a large number of people to visit the websites of reality TV shows. Phishers strongly believe that over-enthusiastic viewers will fall to such lucrative baits in the hope of winning the prize mentioned in the e-mail.

According to a survey conducted by financial comparison website 'Money.co.uk', one third of British online users admitted of having no idea how to distinguish between a legitimate e-mail and a phishing e-mail. Hence, it is extremely difficult to assess the online security situation in the UK.

Finally, security experts have concluded that British online users need to adopt proactive approach and get abreast with changing horizon of online scamming.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

» SPAMfighter News - 6/24/2009

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