ESET Ireland advises caution when receiving holidays-related emails, messages and SMS texts as they could be phishing scams.
In the IT security world we have gotten accustomed to many seasonal or event-related scams. There are the usual suspects, the Valentine’s Day scams, St.Patrick’s Day scams, various disaster scams, currently active World Cup scams and then there is the holiday classic – the stranded tourist.
As the cybercriminals are always adapting, they’re trying many ways to convince their potential victims, the messages are genuine. For targeting Irish users, they have sometimes used mails as Gaeilge, but more commonly just use Irish sounding names. The latest such email we have been receiving in large quantities reads:
From: BER COUGHLAN>
Please pardon my ignorance,am so sorry to bother you, please am in a terrible situation right now and will need your urgent help. I am in Limassol, Cyprus at the moment and I just misplaced my bag containing all my vital items, passport, phone and money. I am trying to sort things out with the necessary authorities, I may need a little help
Ignore it! Do not reply to it, even to insult or mock the sender, as that will just confirm to them your email address is a valid one and it will start receiving more and more elaborate scams. If you ever receive any such, from emails or mobiles of people you actually know, consider that their emails could have been hacked or mobiles stolen. Always ring them first and talk to them, before taking any other action. Enjoy safer technology.