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Watch out for swine flu scams

E-mail cons spreading faster than the virus.

By Karen Datko Sep 30, 2009 10:17PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.


It didn't take scammers long to latch on to the latest hot-button topic to try to make a quick buck. Scams built on fears of swine flu  are proliferating quickly across the Internet.


The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an alert this week warning of a number of e-mail scams related to the swine flu. The attacks arrive via an unsolicited e-mail message typically containing a subject line related to the swine flu.


"These e-mail messages may contain a link or an attachment. If users click on this link or open the attachment, they may be directed to a phishing Web site or exposed to malicious code," the alert said.

US-CERT encourages users to take the following measures to protect themselves:

  • Filter spam.
  • Don't trust unsolicited e-mail.
  • Treat e-mail attachments with caution.
  • Don't click links in e-mail messages.
  • Install antivirus software and keep it up-to-date.
  • Install a personal firewall and keep it up-to-date.
  • Configure your e-mail client for security.

To stay informed about swine flu, US-CERT says you should rely on trusted sources of information, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.


Also, be highly skeptical of unknown Web sites with the words "swine flu" in the domain name. Online security firm F-Secure reports that dozens of new swine flu domain names were registered in the last few days. F-Secure said some of these sites are already offering ways to "protect your family from this crazy flu."


Related reading at ConsumerAffairs.com:

Published April 29, 2009
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