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Issue 131 - May 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 10

Amazon 'Order Cancellation' Pharmacy Spam Emails

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Outline
Emails purporting to be from Amazon.com claim that a recent Amazon order has been successfully cancelled and invite recipients to click a link to view details about the cancelled order.



Brief Analysis
The emails are not from Amazon. Links in the bogus emails lead to dubious "drug store" websites that try to peddle various medications to unwary visitors. These sites may also harbour malware or try to trick users into submitting financial and personal information. If you receive one of these emails, just delete it. Do not click on any links that the message contains.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 9th May 2012
First published: 9th May 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Amazon.com - Your Cancellation (18-487-52693)

Dear Customer,

Your order has been successfully canceled. For your reference, here's a summary of your order:

You just canceled order 18-487-52693 placed on May 6, 2012.

Status: CANCELED

_____________________________________________________________________

1 "Methodists"; 2001, Special Edition
By: Margred Bailey

Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

_____________________________________________________________________

Thank you for visiting Amazon.com!

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon.com
Earth's Biggest Selection

[Link Removed]

---------------------------------------------------------------------



Detailed Analysis
Many users have reported receiving emails purporting to be from Amazon.com that claim that a recent order has been successfully cancelled. The emails list the item that was supposedly cancelled and include a link that users can click to read more information about the order.

However, the emails are not from Amazon.com. In fact, they are part of an ongoing spam campaign to promote suspect online drug store websites. Those who click the links in the messages will be taken to a "pharmacy" website that attempts to sell them various kinds of prescription medications. In recent months, similar spam campaigns have used bogus emails that pretend to be from iTunes, LinkedIn, YouTube and other high profile online entities. As in this version, all links in these bogus emails open spam pharmacy websites.

The spammers bank on the likelihood that, by disguising their spam message as something completely unrelated to pharmaceutical products, they will firstly get past spam filters and secondly fool users into clicking the links and visiting the bogus websites. Apparently, at least a few recipients will stay on the site and attempt to purchase some of its dubious offerings. Since this is a tactic that has been used and reused over and over again, it obviously works.

It is foolish and potentially dangerous to buy medicines from one of these bogus pharmacy sites. Firstly, even if you do actually receive a product that you order, you have no way of knowing if it is the real thing or some dangerous or ineffective substitute. Secondly, because the medicine has not been properly prescribed by a doctor, it may interfere with other medications that you are taking or be unsuitable for you due to existing health conditions. Thirdly, these sites often use unsecure pages to process credit card transactions, which could certainly put your credit card details at risk. Fourthly, any group unscrupulous enough to use such deliberately deceptive spam tactics is not one you should trust with your credit card details or other personal information.

Moreover, some of these sites have been known to harbour malware that can be inadvertently installed on the visitor's computer. And very similar tactics have been used repeatedly by phishing scammers to trick users into divulging their personal and financial information.

If you received one of these messages, do not click on any links that it may contain. The best policy is simply to delete it.

Bookmark and Share References
Fake iTunes Receipt Email
Fake LinkedIn Email Leads to Pharmacy Spam Website
Pharmacy Spam Emails Purport to be From YouTube

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Issue 131 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Paypal 'We Need Your Help Resolving an Issue With Your Account' Phishing Scam
  2. Boy Shot By Step Dad Charity Hoax
  3. One Direction Facebook Page Hacker Warning Message
  4. Windows Live 'Account Blocked' Phishing Scam
  5. 'Quilts in the Snow Photographs' - The Art of Simon Beck
  6. Shark Behind Scuba Divers Photo Hoax
  7. Facebook Survey Scam - Free Oakleys To All Facebook Users!
  8. Gang Initiation Warning Hoax - Infant Car Seat Left On Roadside
  9. Do Not Call - Mobile Phones Going Public Hoax
  10. Amazon 'Order Cancellation' Pharmacy Spam Emails
  11. Commonwealth Bank Phishing Scam - Online Access Suspended Message
  12. Circus Cruelty to Animals Protest Message - Baby Elephant Photograph
  13. Survey Scam - Free $1000 Walmart Gift Card Text Message
  14. Pharmacy Spam Emails Purport to be From YouTube
  15. Hoax - Picture of 'World's Largest Tortoise'
  16. Santander Online Banking Software Upgrade Phishing Scam
  17. Apple Store Account Phishing Scam
  18. Legitimate: 'Reminder to Update Your Legacy Blogger Account' Email