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Ebola-Fundraising Scams Grow in Number

2014-11-18 07:25

Indiegogo removes fraudulent fundraise page

  Webpage claiming to deliver toolbar that warns about Ebola cases spotted nearby
Ebola is still a concerning matter around the globe, and lately cybercriminals started to focus their attention on the profitable business of sending fake fundraising alerts to gullible users.
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Ebola is still a concerning matter around the globe, and lately cybercriminals started to focus their attention on the profitable business of sending fake fundraising alerts to gullible users.

At the beginning, spam and malware was distributed via emails purporting to deliver info about the deadly virus, but the trend now is to have users make donations in the hope of finding a cure.

Oftentimes, crooks create fake fundraising websites to achieve their goal or they start crowdfunding sites, aiming to harvest card details and names.

Barracuda Labs noticed such a page on indiegogo.com, an international crowdfunding site started in 2008, one of the first of its kind.

Social networking is a powerful sharing system and this is how cybercriminals pointed the victims to the scammy location. Emails were also sent with the same purpose.

US-CERT warned about rise of Ebola-themed scams

Other malicious campaigns trying to capitalize on the concern regarding the virus include email messages containing malware or links pointing to phishing websites.

In mid-October, US-CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) issued an alert about the increased number of Ebola-themed scams, warning of the dangers of following the instructions in suspicious emails.

Towards the end of October, Malwarebytes drew attention to a page that claimed to deliver alerts of nearby cases of Ebola through a toolbar installed in the web browser.

Analysis of the piece of software proved that it was nothing but an affiliate marketing scheme that flooded the user with offers for other programs; the crook gets a commission for each installation.

Malwarebytes has observed that after adding the toolbar to the list of installed programs, the browsing experience is disrupted through changing the search service set by the user or by loading affiliate websites that promote other programs part of the scheme.

Donate only through reputable websites

In the end, users are left with a poorly performing computer while cybercriminals get their pockets filled.

Fake fundraising websites can be very convincing, especially if they are hosted on a crowd-powered platform such as Indiegogo. The simple fact that it is available on the list of a reputable service increases its credibility. Fortunately, Indiegogo proceeded to remove the fraudulent page.

“The idea of donating to help find a cure is great, however you should make sure that you are doing so in the appropriate forums. Never click on links sent to you via email or shared links on social media. If you plan on donating to find a cure do research on reputable sites and go to them directly,” advises Luis Chapetti  from Barracuda Labs in a blog post published on Friday.


Source: WStc3bydULz1WYjNVLn5WazlWYyRmb1ZULhx2biV0LzdXZu9SbvNmLhlGZlBHdm92cuM3dl52LvoDc0RHa/ca.ssr.dps

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