Father’s Day Spam Campaign Led to Online GamblingWritten by Sue Walsh on June 18, 2012
Fathers Day is a time for people to show their love and gratitude to dear old dad – and for
spammers to flood your inbox. A new spam campaign was detected this weekend with a Fathers Day theme. The messages urged users to purchase a gift set containing a dozen premium cigars with a lighter and cutter for $20, saying it was the perfect present for dad.
Those that fell for it and clicked on the link were sent to an online gambling site. It’s not unusual for a spam link to send someone to a completely unrelated site (the old Canadian Pharmacy scam did this for years). Most often though such spam is malicious and will send the user to a fake storefront designed to steal their financial info. While it’s possible the scammers behind this campaign messed up and meant the links to go to a fake store front, it’s much more likely that it was intentional and designed to help them rake in money via affiliate fraud. They probably got paid a fee every time someone clicked on that spam link.
Affiliate fraud is a huge source of spam – ask anyone on Facebook who has gotten dumped on a site pushing survey after survey after clicking on what they thought was a link to a fun sounding app or offer (and it’s big in email spam too). Spammers are no longer interested in getting people to buy things. They know with most internet users being savvy enough to know better than to buy anything from a spammer that they needed new tactics to keep making money. That’s why spear phishing and affiliate fraud spam are both rising.
There is spam designed for every holiday. Look for Fourth of July and Back to School spam to be next!