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News

Hoax Marks and Spencers e-mails flooding in-boxes

Sophos : 14 October, 2008  (Technical Article)
Spammers target bargain hunters with spam chain letter claiming to offer gift vouchers from leading UK retail chain
IT security and control firm Sophos is warning computer users to be wary of a hoax email which falsely promises up to £500 in Marks & Spencers vouchers. The email chain letter, first seen in the summer of 2007, has generated ten times the usual number of queries to the Sophos website in the past two weeks.

Sophos experts claim that the authors of nuisance emails will often target unsuspecting email users with messages designed to exploit real-world situations. Claiming to come from Marks & Spencer, a retailer famed for its offers and promotions, this hoax may appeal to consumers feeling the pinch and seeking the best bargains to alleviate financial concerns - but they are advised to exercise skepticism when checking their inboxes.

"Hoax emails are a real nuisance," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Shoppers are more eager than ever to seek out the best bargains online, but unfortunately this one is too good to be true - I'm afraid all anyone who replies to this email will receive is disappointment. Email users should always search the web to see if an enticing offer is real or phoney before sending it on to their friends."


'Another victim of this particular hoax is Persimmon Homes,' continued Cluley. 'By encouraging those who respond to copy the firm in, this could potentially overload the company's inbox. The best advice when you see any emails like this is to delete them straight away.'
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