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Fake 'Child Predator Alert' Email Points to Malware


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Outline

Email purporting to be a community alert notice claims that a child predator has moved into your neighbourhood and advises you to click a link to get more information.

Beware Malware



Brief Analysis

The email is not a genuine alert notice. Clicking the link takes you to a website that harbours malware. Once downloaded and installed, the malware may harvest sensitive information such as passwords from your computer and send it to online criminals. If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

   

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Example

Subject: ALERT: A child predator has moved into your neighborhood. Alert #963951742

- - - - - - - - -AUTOMATED LOCAL COMMUNITY ALERT- - - - - - - - -

================================================
LOCAL COMMUNITY ALERT MESSAGING SYSTEMS.
================================================
DATE: [Changes]
NEW COMMUNITY ALERT #:3018673351.

================================================
THIS EMAIL IS AN AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED MESSAGE. You've receiving this email directly in order to inform you that recently a child-predator has relocated/moved into your current neighborhood. This information was generated based on your home IP address/zip code. Presently when a sex-offender moves into a neighborhood, the information becomes publically available.

Please visit here right now to view the full info about this new alert:
[Link removed]

Best Wishes,
LOCAL COMMUNITY ALERT MESSAGE SYSTEMS


Detailed Analysis

'Alert' Email Claims a Child Predator has Moved To Your Neighbourhood

According to this email, which claims to be an 'Automated Local Community Alert', a child-predator has recently moved into your current neighbourhood.

The message claims that the alert was sent based on your IP address or zip code.

It asks you to click a link to view more information about the alert.

Alert is Bogus - Link Opens Malware Website

However, the email is not a genuine alert message and the link does not lead to more information about a child predator.

In fact, clicking the link takes you to a compromised website that contains malware.

Once downloaded and installed, this malware may harvest sensitive information such as passwords from the infected computer and send them to online criminals.

The malware may also download further malware and allow criminals to take control of the infected computer.

After the malware has been downloaded, you may be redirected to a genuine website that provides reports on sex offenders. This website has no connection to the malware attack.

Alert dates, subject lines, and other particulars in the emails may vary. The bogus messages were first reported in November 2014. However, more recent reports indicate that the emails are again being distributed in early 2015.

In fact, similar malware messages have been distributed in various formats for several years.

If your receive one of these fake alert emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

Malware

© Depositphotos.com/ Imilian


Last updated: January 23, 2015
First published: January 23, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Scam Alert -- Your Neighbor is a Child-Predator? It's a Scam! Bogus Child Predator Warning Hides San Mateo Email Phishing Scam Child predator email scam targets parents






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