Spam Alert: A Pre-Valentine’s Day Offer You Should Ignore
While Valentine’s is still about a week away, there are those who might be looking around online for gift ideas, places to celebrate, including people to meet. Upfront, this may seem like a pretty harmless activity but in reality, cybercriminals have already started sending malicious Valentine-related spam to users with bogus advertisements, promotions, and offers.
Like other special occasions, Valentine’s Day is usually, if not always, used by attackers as a way to hook potential victims. After all, the more people get busy online, the more opportunities there are for the bad guys to prey on the excitement of unwitting users. Whether it’s tricking them into clicking on fake ads found on social media posts, or opening malicious email attachments, these social engineering lures can lead to a number of online risks.
Recently, we found a variety of spam emails with Valentine’s Day used as keywords within parts of the messages. The Valentine’s Day-themed emails came in German and Chinese languages, but instead of leading users to actual Valentines-related sites, the recipients are led to scams and spam-vertisements (advertisements seen inside spammed emails). As expected, spammers, scammers, and other online predators would be on the loose this Valentine’s Day and users should be more cautious when opening email attachments, clicking on links, sharing things on social media, and visiting websites. Remember, it isn’t Cupid who’s taking at aim at you on Heart’s Day, but attackers are also tracking your online whereabouts. Before you start skimming the web for Valentine offers, consider these safety tips:
- Just like you would normally do in real life, avoid links, attachments, or sources accompanied by promises that are too good to be true.
- If you’re expecting a bouquet of flowers from your special someone, bear in mind that when online, “freebies” and random surprises are best suited for unknowing users. Be alert and don’t accept any offers from ads, posts, and messages.
- Guard not only your heart this Valentine’s, but your software and devices as well. This means, keeping your apps and operating system updated, and avoid third-party invitations.
- If you’ve bookmarked your favorite romance novel for staying in, do the same with your trusty websites. You might be tempted to order some comfort food online, so be careful and always double-check if you’re on the right, secure page.
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