So Predictable: St. Patrick’s Day Scams

I have blogged many times about how cybercriminals and scammers use holidays, sporting events, and disasters as lures in their never-ending schemes. Just like with tax season, every Valentine’s Day we see more scams. Most high-profile sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, inspire them; and certainly recent events like the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan server as bait for these schemes. St. Patrick’s Day finds itself in the same situation.

Just a bit ago I received a few examples that I would like to share:

This one leads to a fairly uninteresting ecard site that distributes a “free” toolbar most of us detect as FunWeb, but I did find the next one a bit more interesting:

This one, as you can clearly read, launches right into a sales pitch about making money online. It also uses shortened URLs (a common tactic) to hide the actual site they are sending the recipient to. Various forms of short URL abuse is something McAfee Labs highlighted in our yearly predictions paper, which is definitely worth the download and read. The short links lead to the following site:

This site, which is flagged “yellow” by our SiteAdvisor technology, proclaims to have techniques, knowledge, and software that can turn anyone into the next Internet millionaire! Pretty odd when you consider it came from an email that wished you Happy Paddy’s Day, no? Predictable as these are, they are nonetheless effective and will be with us for years to come.

Stay informed. Stay updated. Stay safe.