419 Scammers Take Advantage of Festival of Lights

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a much loved five-day long Hindu festival. The festival is enjoyed by many people and lifts the mood and spirit of everyone taking part in the celebrations. This year, the festival of Lights is being celebrated in November and as expected Diwali themed scam emails have started to flow into the Symantec Probe Network.

One scam email we have identified, appears to be from the Reserve Bank of India and claims that the email recipient has been awarded a prize of 4 crore and 70 lac Indian rupees, which equates to 10,700,000 Indian rupees or approximately US$175,000, in a Diwali celebration promotion. To claim the prize, the recipient is asked to send their personal information to a given email address.

The following subject line has been observed in this spam attack:



Figure. Diwali-themed 419 spam email

With quite a few more festivals to come over next few months, people should be wary of such suspicious claims. The Reserve Bank of India alerts citizens about such fake and dubious emails aimed at defrauding users.

Symantec predicts a rise in Diwali-themed spam attacks over the next few days. To help prevent personal information from being compromised, we advise users to exercise caution when opening unsolicited emails and to update antispam signatures regularly. We are closely monitoring these and other spam campaigns to ensure that users are aware of the latest threats.

Wishing you a very happy and safe Diwali!