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Cyber criminals love Valentine's Day: Trend Micro

Cyber criminals are now targeting users searching online for gifting ideas and places to celebrate Valentine's Day with bogus advertisements and promotions to dupe them, security solutions firm Trend Micro Monday said.



New Delhi: Cyber criminals are now targeting users searching online for gifting ideas and places to celebrate Valentine's Day with bogus advertisements and promotions to dupe them, security solutions firm Trend Micro Monday said.

India has emerged as the second biggest spam sending nation, after the United States as cyber criminals send out emails about dating sites, scams and spam advertisements, according to Trend Micro.

"Upfront, this may seem like a pretty harmless activity. But in reality, cyber criminals have already started sending malicious Valentine-related spam to users with bogus advertisements, promotions, and offers," Trend Micro said in a statement.

The more people get busy online, the more opportunities there are for the bad guys to prey on the excitement of unwitting users, it added.

"Whether it's tricking them into clicking on fake ads found on social media posts, or opening malicious email attachments, these social engineering lures can lead to a number of online risks," it added.

Trend Micro said it had found 117 unique sender IPs related to this spam run.

"Most of the spammed emails primarily came from the United States, followed by India, Ukraine, Canada, and the Netherlands," it said.

This slew of Valentine's Day-themed emails came in different languages such as German and Chinese.

"Instead of flowers or candy, spammers gifted their recipients with emails about dating sites, scams, and spam-advertisements (advertisements seen inside spammed emails)," Trend Micro Managing Director (India and South East Asia) Dhanya Thakkar said.

Thakkar added that users should avoid links, attachments, or sources accompanied by promises that are too good to be true.

"If you are expecting a bouquet of flowers from your special someone, bear in mind that when online, freebies and random surprises are best suited for unknowing users. Be alert and do not accept any offers from ads, posts, and messages," Trend Micro said.

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