Spammers beg for money in pre-holiday blast

Latest spam campaign asks to help the less fortunate

A new spam campaign has emerged that tells stories of the hard-knock life, and then asks for money.

According to security vendor Marshal, this new spam blast -- timed conveniently to coincide with the beginning of the holiday season of giving -- uses few technical tricks, relying instead on social engineering. In these e-mails, the spammer tells woeful life stories and asks for donations of used clothing, blankets and money.

These are not the first spam campaigns to tell personal stories and ask for money; the popular Nigerian 419 scams have directly asked for, and often received, funds from e-mail recipients. Yet at this time of year when people tend to be particularly charitable, recipients may be more willing to donate, says a Marshal official.

"The Nigerian 419 scams prey on people's greed and gullibility to manipulate you into giving them money. This new scam takes a different approach by tugging on your heartstrings, but it is essentially the same idea -- they get people to believe in their story and send money," said Glen Meyers, an engineer at Marshal, in a prepared statement.

Besides good timing, these messages benefit from being better written and more convincing than most spam. Instead of asking directly for money, the spammer asks the recipient to "get in touch." The spammer apologizes for bothering recipients, saying that he found their e-mail addresses on the Internet, but doesn't specify where or how.

Marshal says it has found multiple examples of this holiday spam that vary slightly from each other.

This timely campaign comes just after last week's Halloween spam blast, backed by the malicious Storm worm.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cara Garretson

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?