Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New scam/phishing tactics

Recently I've seen some new scam/phishing tactics rising to the surface:

Email inviting you to download the newest PDF reader

Email inviting you to download Google Earth

Basically they just want you to pay for a product you can download for free. This time it's Adobe PDF Reader and Google Earth that are being targeted.

Be alerted when you receive an email with subjects like:

New 2010 Version for Google Earth
Update to PDF Reader 2010 for Windows‏
Get more out of Google Earth‏
New PDF Reader with Activation Code‏
Update your PDF Reader for Windows

Do not click on any of the links, and don't be fooled if the URL doesn't look 'funny'.
They might use URL shortener services such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com to hide the real URL.

If you are really interested in any of the forementioned applications, go to the original site and download it *for free ;)* from their website.

Screenshot of the 'PDF' website

Screenshot of the 'Google Earth' website


The conclusion is pretty simple: delete these emails and never reply on them !
If you are unsure if the email is legit or not, I would delete it anyway.
For instance: Google will not email you with a request to download their Google Earth application and pay for it.

You can always use URLvoid and VirusTotal URL scanners as a reference.

Be safe people, and don't fall for these tricks.


  1. I just got one of these today, and wondered how widespread it was. Of course I didn't follow the link, but does anyone know what it really installs once you go there? I know lots of people who would likely fall for this if they received it.

  2. Hi Mechanus,

    What most likely will happen is the following:

    - You will pay alot of money for software that is free
    - Your bank credentials will be stolen and your account might be emptied.

    It is pretty widespread, but unlike the daily viagra spam it is less common.