We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Spammers using MSN for ID theft

Instant messaging sidesteps spam filters

Spammers are using "flirtatious" MSN conversations in an attempt to sidestep spam filters and trick web users into divulging financial details, according to Sophos.

The security firm says scammers are inviting people via email to have a conversation on MSN, before asking them to join an adult website. The email contains an MSN address which starts a computer generated conversation.

Early in the conversation users are offered free passes to a webcam in order to see the person they are having the conversation with. However, the scammers then demand web surfers supply their credit card details as proof of age to gain access to the site.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said the trick could prove successful as people are happy to talk to strangers over the internet.

"Talking to strangers can be dangerous on the net, but many people do it. So it's actually quite likely that this scam could be successful," said Cluley. "Engaging victims in playful and flirtatious chat like this is a sure fire way to hook people in and entice them to part with sensitive information.

Cluley said everyone should be wary of unsolicited e-mails, whether or not they seem like harmless fun.

See more:

PC security advice

IDG UK Sites

Android M Developer Preview announced at Google I/O: Android M UK release date and new features. Wh?......

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Mac OS X 10.11 release date rumours: all the new features expected in Yosemite successor