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Gmail '4 Missed Emails' Pharmacy Spam

Outline
Message purporting to be from Gmail claims that the recipient should click a link to read four missed emails.

Pharmacy concept

© Depositphotos.com/ Oleksiy Mark



Brief Analysis
The message is not from Gmail. Links in the message open a spam drug store website that sells pharmaceutical products without need of a prescription.

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Example

Subject: You have 4 missed emails
 
Gmail

November 7, 2013
Automation Service Reporting:

You have 4 missed emails.

Sincerely,
The Google team

You can also unsubscribe from these emails or change your notification settings.

Need help? If you received this message in error, click not my account.


Detailed Analysis


This message, which claims to be an automated notification message from Gmail, informs recipients that 4 missed emails are waiting to be read.  Recipients are invited to click a link to read the missed messages. Other links in the message supposedly allow users to unsubscribe from such notifications, access account settings or read help files.

However, the message is not from Gmail. All links in the email open a dodgy drug store spam site that tries to peddle all manner of pharmaceutical products.

Those responsible for this spam campaign know that some people tricked into visiting the spam site will stay and buy one or more of its suspect offerings. 

Uses who buy on the site may or may not actually get the products they ordered. But, if they do get their drugs, they could be significantly risking their health by taking them. Users have no way of knowing if the products they purchase are what they claim to be. And, since users don't need a prescription to buy them, they might be inadvertently putting their health at risk by taking medicine that is unsuitable for them. It could interfere with other medication users are taking with serious repercussions.

Moreover, it is very risky to trust these outfits with your credit card details. If they are unscrupulous enough to market their products via deliberately deceptive spam messages then they may have no qualms about stealing customer credit card data and misusing it elsewhere. And, these sites often do not even use secure forms for payments.

Given the ongoing effort that the spammers have put into this campaign, it obviously pays off for them. This message is just one variant in an ongoing spam attack that has used the names of several high-profile online entities, including Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter.

If you receive one of these spam emails, do not click on any links that it contains. If you do click a link by mistake, close the spam website immediately.

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Last updated: November 8, 2013
First published: November 8, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Facebook Deactivated Account Spam
Bogus LinkedIn Invites Open Drug Store Spam Sites
Pharmacy Spam Disguised as Twitter Emails