Give a man a fish, he'll eat it for lunch, but teach a man to phish and he'll eat yours.
This email one arrived in my mailbox today from "Paypal", subject line "Urgent Message".
Your Debit Card must receive a refund worth 288.40$ USD from Oregon Community Credit Union.After the last annual calculations of your account activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $288.44 credit. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it. To get your Tax Refund Money please click the link below:
Regards, Oregon Community Credit Union Customer Service
Copyright © 2007 - Oregon Community Credit Union - All rights reserved.
This smelled bad, but rather than just delete it, I figured I'd do a little digging. And with a logo like that? Got to be fake.
But it's not. There is an OCCU. The first giveaway for me was the copy, which felt like a digital ransom note. The website address looks pretty innocuous, but it's bullshit. But good bullshit - the customer service # was actually correct, and for the heck of it, I tried the rep. She was a good sport about it and shared with me that OCCU had been hit with a raft of these things in the past week. 4-5 Phishing attacks had been shut down or cut off YESTERDAY alone. They don't the source, but it's been getting pretty hectic.
Add to this a new form of spam - bogus MP3-vertising.
How does it work? You get a blank email with an MP3 file attached - something like "mychemicalromance.mp3" or "justintimberlake.mp3". They look like mobile ringtones, but if you launch it you get an audio file with a come-on to purchase crap stocks. Imagine opening up "bartsimpson.mp3" on the crowded cubicle floor and hearing a digital sideshow barker shouting about improving your sex life and you can see where this might go.
With fraudvertising becomes more efficient (better designed, co-opting realworld logos/brands/customer service and technologies), muddy water gets murkier, and the need to deliver real value as a brand, not just ads, becomes even more critical.