Spammers Advice – Dont forget to Buy Winter Tires


Spam might fade out at times. But I dare say it will not die no matter how many botnets are taken down, or how many spammers are imprisoned. It’s disturbing, nonetheless, to see how old “recipes”still work after years of circulation and hundreds of pages of security warnings.

Here are some fresh “old”samples making the rounds these past weeks:

Your PayPal account needs an update

This one is an all-time classic that has been around for years. This “dear valued client”letter informs you that your account’s sensitive information needs an update; of course, all in the good name of safety.  It should take you less than 10 minutes to follow a given link, log-in to the account and renew the data in the form. As simple as that! And this is how you end up giving away the key to your account, money and personal data

We saw your site and we liked it

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it is highly unnatural for some stranger to contact you and offer his help, free of charge. But this is exactly what happens with the following client-phishing message.  Your site looks promising to a bunch of people who want to analyze it and give you some advice about how to make it more visible in web searches. It’s nothing wrong to look for professional help, but don’t ever imagine it’s free.

Snow is about to fall and you need winter tires

A seasonal offer, like cheap tires around winter, might appear to be the answer to your problem. Only a click away, but don’t get hasty. Are you sure this is a good deal for you? The golden rule when you purchase something over the Internet is to double or triple check the website you are about to buy from. Too often, buyers get bricks instead of the smartphone they ordered. Look for feedback from people you trust or consider only the online shops that you already used.

Health is the weak spot for most people

$1 seems to be a small price for your peace of mind.  It’s cheap and it’s right in your inbox. $1 covers an on-line supplemental insurance in case of accidents, cancer, heart attacks and strokes. Do you really believe that?

Offer: 8 million e-mail addresses for $149

Business, medical or consumer email lists! All well organized by categories and displayed for sale. Plus by Friday the customer benefits from a discount: $149 for all 8 million e-mail addresses. Let the spam start!


This article was written with the help of my colleagues from Bitdefender Antispam Lab. 

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.