It is almost a rule of thumb that everything that might interest a large number of people makes for a good lure for spammers and scammers.
From news regarding natural disasters and celebrities to offers that promise to change the user’s dire economic situation, scammers keep a good eye on any recent developments and are known to react quickly, and the latest example of their fast reaction times has been spotted by Symantec.
You have probably heard that on Wednesday, the price for an ounce of gold has risen above the psychological limit of $1,500 for the first time. Recent global events have made investors turn to gold as the last safe haven investment, and scammers are counting on the fact that people have heard that news and are interesting in doing the same.
So, in a matter of hours, the began sending out spam emails with “Is Gold Your Ticket To A Golden Future?” in the subject line and a link that takes the recipient to a website that offers a “free investor kit” in exchange for some contact information:
“Certain personalities are used in the image for this spam campaign – including Glenn Beck. A Google search reveals an interesting angle about Glenn Beck promoting gold investments,” points out the Symantec researcher. “It seems that the spammer did some research in order to know about the association before propagating this spam campaign.”
According to him, this is a typical hit-and-run spam campaign – large volumes of spam messages (usually in HTML) sent out in short bursts, quickly rotating domains and messages usually sent from within the same /24 IP range.