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Boston Marathon spam targets Australians: SCAMwatch

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's SCAMwatch is warning people not to click on spam emails claiming to contain links to websites with information about the Boston Marathon explosions.

According to SCAMwatch, the emails may have subject lines such as `Boston Marathon Explosion: Exclusive Video' or `2 Explosions at Boston Marathon.'

If the user clicks the email link, a pop-up alert may appear asking the user to download an executable file ending in .exe and save it. This link contains malware that may infect computers and allow scammers remote access.

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In addition, scammers are reportedly sending emails, creating websites or using social media platforms such as Twitter to try and lure in donations they claim will go to helping victims of the explosions. However, scammers simply pocket the money.

A SCAMwatch spokesperson said that if consumers received emails from strangers claiming to have information or news on the explosions, they should delete them straight away.

"If you want to access footage or information about breaking news, use a reliable news source rather than an unknown Web link," the spokesperson said in a statement.

If Australians wanted to make a donation, they should approach the charity organisation directly using their official website or hotline to make the payment, the spokesperson added.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia


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