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Spammers use real-life events to try to steal your data

Kaspersky Lab has released a new report on spam messages in Q2 of 2015, and according to the report, spammers are increasingly leaning on real-life events in their attempts at phishing.

The earthquake in Nepal, presidential elections in Nigeria and the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 were among the hottest topics being used to extract personal data from gullible users.

Some spam included fake messages asking the recipients to make a donation to help the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. In other mass mailings, fraudsters tried to lure recipients with the sum of $2 million (£1.28m), which the newly elected President of Nigeria was allegedly ready to send the user as compensation.

Additional mailings included fraudulent notifications of lottery wins for tickets to watch the Olympic Games in Brazil, 2016, in an attempt to persuade recipients to provide fraudsters with personal data to receive their ‘win’.

Although the percentage of spam in email traffic decreased by 5.8 per cent from the previous quarter (from 59.2 per cent to 53.4 per cent), Q2 2015 saw a marked increase in the use of world events in spam emails.

“During Q2, 2015 we saw spammers use tragic events to trick users. It’s a tactic that fraudsters have used before, but with events like the Nepalese earthquake being covered so widely in the world’s media, these messages are likely to resonate with sympathetic recipients. To protect themselves, users should not open emails from unknown senders and remember not to click links in these emails, or open any attachments. With some fraudsters trying to make the name and address of the sender look more legitimate, this is more important than ever.” Tatyana Shcherbakova, Antispam Analyst, Kaspersky Lab.

The top list of countries most often targeted by spammers changed a bit. UK, which headed the rating in Q1, was now in second position with 6.31 per cent, while Germany, which was only fourth three months ago, now leads the list.

Brazil settled in third with 6.04 per cent.

Full Kaspersky Lab report can be found on this link.