Thursday, April 26, 2007

What's old is new again: email extortion and urban legends

Much like fashion, the Internet makes old things new again at a startling pace. Dark Reading is carrying an article courtesy of Information Week about a "new" email scam - assassins have been hired to kill you, and if you bribe them, they won't. Unfortunately...this isn't really a new scam. In fact, Snopes has references back to 2006, and an FBI recommendation from December of 2006 - which the article does note. What is newer is that the mailing lists harvested for it seem to target professionals. Not quite spearphishing, but definitely more targeted than your daily allotment of prescription drug and enhancement spam.

Moral of the story? Keep Snopes, ScamBusters, and the CIAC's Hoaxbusters sites handy, and don't panic. If you do know somebody who has succumbed to the scam, point them to law enforcement and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

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