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Issue 170 - January, 2014 (2nd Edition) - Page 7

Fake Picasa 'New Photos' Emails Point to Dodgy Pharmacy Website

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Outline
Emails purporting to be from image management system Picasa claims that new photos have been added to the user's album and they can click a button to view the album.

Pills

© Depositphotos.com/waupee



Brief Analysis
The messages are not from Picasa. They are spam designed to trick people into visiting a dodgy online pharmaceutical website and buying its dubious products. All links in the emails lead to the spam website.

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Example
Picasa Spam Message

Detailed Analysis


According to these emails, which claim to be from image management system Picasa, new photos have been added to the recipient's Picasa album. The message includes a "View Album" button as well as secondary links.

However, the emails are not from Picasa. In fact, they are disguised spam messages designed to drive people to a notorious "Canadian Pharmacy" website that attempts to peddle a variety of medications without need of a prescription.

Because the spam messages do not mention the pharmaceutical products they aim to promote, they more effectively bypass spam filters. And the messages are also more likely to trick users into clicking since they are not obviously spam at first glance.

And, the spammers bank on the fact that at least a few recipients will actually linger on the site and buy products. Since this is a tactic that has been used repeatedly, it clearly works.

It is very 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 potentially dangerous substitute. Secondly, because a doctor has not properly prescribed the medicine, 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.

Such email spam campaigns are very common and have targeted a number of high profile online entities, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Last updated: January 11, 2014
First published: January 11, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
'Facebook Has Sent You a Message' Pharmacy Spam
Pharmacy Spam Disguised as Twitter Emails
Fake LinkedIn Email Leads to Pharmacy Spam Website



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Issue 170 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. 'Paul Walker Still Alive After Accident' Phishing and Survey Scam
  2. 'Profile Visitors for Facebook' Rogue App and Survey Scam
  3. PG & E Energy Statement Malware Emails
  4. Fake Picture: 'Thailand Snake Girl' - Serpentosis Malianorcis
  5. Tom Crist Lottery Win Advance Fee Scam
  6. Legoland Child Abduction Attempt Hoax
  7. Fake Picasa 'New Photos' Emails Point to Dodgy Pharmacy Website
  8. 'Win a Disney Cruise' Survey Scam
  9. Bogus Advice - Block Hackers by Adding 'Security' to Facebook Blocking Function
  10. Fake - Giant Squid Image
  11. Commonwealth Bank 'eStatement Ready' Phishing Scam
  12. 'Singer Rihanna Found to be Dead' Facebook Survey Scam
  13. Satire - Pope Francis and the 'Third Vatican Council'
  14. Snow Canyon Roadway Image
  15. Albert (Tapper) Torney and the Can Car Sculptures That He Did NOT Make
  16. 'Your Atmos Energy Bill is Available' Malware Email
  17. 'Beware Hack Scam Rollercoaster Clip' Facebook Warning Message
  18. Sainsbury's 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' Phishing Scame
  19. Satire - '18 Million Birds Dead New Year's Eve'
  20. Hoax - 'Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado'
  21. Hoax Report Claims Paul Walker Faked His Own Death
  22. 'Shark Eats Swimming Man' Facebook Survey Scam
  23. 'Notice to Appear in Court' Malware Emails
  24. 'Most Fatal Car Accident' Survey Scam
  25. Hoax - Extraordinary Planetary Alignment To Decrease Gravity on January 4
  26. 'World's Largest Snake Video' Survey Scam
  27. Michael Jackson Died Years Ago Hoax
  28. 'My Home is Burning' Facebook Phishing and Malware Scam
  29. Facebook 'Closed for Maintenance' Prank