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Scammers stalk Amazon customers

04 January 2012 - 08:50 by Graham Miller

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A study has found that consumers were routinely targeted with spam email campaigns aimed at impersonating popular retail site Amazon, during the busy Christmas period, according to IT Portal.

In particular, there was one campaign which alleged to be from Amazon and told the targeted users that they had been charged for a smartphone handset, which of course, was not the case.

The message in question purported to allow users to track a parcel they had ordered, but the links included were actually related to a phishing site, disguised to look like the genuine article. Those who clicked them could end up with spyware on their computer which would then go about stealing private data from the infected machine and leaving the user in a potentially vulnerable position.

This particular scam is effective because users who had not bought the item in question would be worried that they had been charged a significant amount and so would be more likely to click the embedded links in the email.

This kind of spam message is becoming increasingly common as cybercriminals look to impersonate sites usually associated with offering safe shopping online, thus increasing the chances that the user will be fooled.

When millions of people would be receiving buckets of email confirmations and tracking messages during the run up to the festive period last year, such an innocuous message could easily cause you to drop your guard.

Anyone who opens an email like this and clicks the included links can protect their PC by installing antivirus software and a spyware checker. You need to keep these up to date if you want to secure your private details and enjoy safe shopping online, without being constantly concerned about the validity of the emails you receive and the sites you visit.