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Cyber-criminals Abusing ‘Typhoon Haiyan’ in Scam E-mails, Cautions Symantec

Symantec the security company is warning Internet-users that fake donation e-mails relating to the recent Haiyan typhoon, which devastated areas in Philippines and Vietnam during November 2013 while killing numerous people, are circulating online.

The scam electronic mail supposedly arrives from Andrew Stevens the international reporter of the popular Cable News Network (CNN) urgently requesting readers of the e-mail to donate cash so shelter and food can be arranged for the affected people following the catastrophe.

The scam message even suggests transferring the money via one trustworthy bank. It also mentions a different e-mail address set up via a non-chargeable service provider of e-mail through which future correspondence must be carried out.

These directions in the e-mail should make anybody guess that the solicitation made is deceitful; however, some people are always there who either never encountered a fake e-mail similar as this or are overwhelmed with sympathy such that they'll proceed to communicate with the scammer.

Inevitably, those who'll thus respond will have the scammers extort money from them while further use their e-mail ids to send more scams.

The latest e-mail, with its text written very politely and sounding quite genuine will actually distract recipients from recognizing it as a scam, security experts at Symantec note. Further, the use of a renowned media person's name adds to the supposed authenticity of the message, they add.

However, such scams can be avoided if the following are done, says Symantec. First, one must be extra cautious when clicking on unsolicited e-mails similar as within the above stated instance. Second, it's important to check the genuineness of the institution that asks for donations similar as within the aforementioned instance where the user must contact CNN for determining if it actually sent the e-mail. Lastly, one's anti-spam signatures must be routinely updated.

Meanwhile, it isn't new to have spammers exploit a natural calamity. During August 2011, spam mails were spotted which leveraged 'Hurricane Irene' that struck North American on its eastern coast and the Caribbean islands just as in October 2012, spam mails exploited 'Hurricane Sandy,' which hit Northeastern USA, Mid-Atlantic and the Caribbean.

» SPAMfighter News - 11/21/2013

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