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


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.

Facebook phising
© 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.


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.



Last updated: January 11, 2014
First published: January 11, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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