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Sensationalist Traps!

fishing-lureIt is extremely common for scammers to lure in their victims by offering exciting, shocking, or otherwise scintilating information to trick the viewer into clicking a link, visiting a website, or download a file.


These sensationalist traps target us via email, through texts, in social media, and even via our Skype accounts. It is often incredibly tempting because the lure that is offered is SO enticing! …and that’s the point. These are just forms of social engineering. One click and we’re hooked. Check out these recent samples…

1-MarthaStewart scandal

For some reason the scammers have been hyperfocused on Martha Stewart as a lure for several months in 2014. A mouse-over of the links in these emails reveals that they always seem to point to some very peculiar-sounding websites. If we use the Zulu URL Risk Analyzer for this one, look what it shows us…

2-MarthaStewart zulu score

By 100% malicious it means that this website is meant to do us, or our computer, harm. It doesn’t get any more clear than that!


And these malicious emails often come out in “scampaigns” (scam campaigns). Check out this log from one company’s email server over the course of a couple of weeks:


And notice that inside every “From” email address above, the scammers included the username and/or email address of the recipient to add to the curiosity factor. “Why does this email look like it might have come from me?”


Here are more from this recent scampaign:

 4-These photos will shock you

5-Can you believe these photos scam

But it isn’t just celebrities and it isn’t just about their appearance. Anything shocking has been fair game! Here are a few more examples…


6-Major threat to national security

7-Obamacare Catastrophe News

8-Shocking news about Obama Gvt
In every example here the links in the email lead to a malicious website.  In the email to the left notice the strange paragraph of text at the bottom.  We often see text well below the email message that seems totally out-of-context.  The reason for this “benign” text is to try to trick the anti-spam servers into believing that the email is legitimate and thus allow it to pass through into people’s inboxes.  Generally speaking, anti-spam servers may assign point values to words and having a “normal” paragraph of text might allow a malicious email to sneak by the filters.  The very presence of these random paragraphs are a HUGE indicator that the email is a scam.  Just delete!




We’ll leave you with one final recent example. In case you didn’t know the “dirty little secrets” about Car Dealerships, here’s an important message for you! ….Yeah. Right. [DELETE, DELETE!]

9-Car Dealers Dont Want you to know