Brace yourself for Black Friday spam

Cybercriminals are always keen to jump on current trends and events in order to promote their wares, so it's no surprise that as we approach one of the busiest online shopping periods there's inevitably a jump in related spam activity.

Researchers at Bitdefender Antispam Lab have been looking at the latest scams seeking to target consumers in the run up to Black Friday. Numbers have been ramping up in recent weeks, of all Black Friday-related correspondence during the Oct 26-Nov 9 timeline, 26 percent appeared on November 9.

As you might expect the US is the target for most of this traffic, accounting for 27 percent of Black Friday spam received over the research period. Perhaps surprisingly Ireland comes second getting 24 percent, followed by Sweden on eight percent and Denmark on seven. Germany and France tie on five percent each, while the UK gets three percent -- the same as Hungary and South Africa.

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Top subject lines relate to designer goods like Louis Vuitton bags and RayBan and Oakley sunglasses, along with the rather more prosaic Walmart rewards and Home Depot vouchers. Users in Germany have been targeted with fake offers for PayPal and Amazon vouchers.

Bitdefender's researchers followed the links in one of these emails which led to a fake survey page and ultimately the chance to claim a 'prize' which of course means parting with payment details.

To avoid falling for a scam Bitdefender advises checking the email address of the sender and looking out for telltales like poor grammar and typos. It's also best not to interact with unsolicited giveaway messages and make sure that you shop only on trusted websites.

You can read more and see screen grabs of some of the most popular campaigns on the Bitdefender blog.

Image credit: SIphotography/depositphotos.com

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