This is clearly an attempt to take advantage of people’s fears for personal gain.
Waunakee, WI (PRWEB) January 30, 2014
Recently, Frazer Consultants has detected a new type of email scam that uses falsified funeral information to scare consumers into clicking on malware-infected links. The messages purport to be an invitation to the funeral service or visitation of a loved one and prompt users to click through for more information, which may lead to phishing websites or cause the download of malware and virus files.
Though the messages use branded elements from funeral homes and funeral home website designers, scam artists are simply copying colors, fonts and logos from existing business websites in an attempt to make their emails appear authentic. To date, emails have been forged using elements from Texas and Kansas funeral homes and may include a reference to a website design service or other website provider.
“It's certainly frustrating to wind up involved in something like this without any control over the situation, but it's even more disgusting that spammers would prey on consumers and tarnish the name of good businesses in this way,” says company President, Matt Frazer. “This is clearly an attempt to take advantage of people’s fears for personal gain.”
Current iterations of the messages contain subject lines reading “Passing of your friend” and “Funeral information,” though other similar subjects will undoubtedly be used as the scam evolves. Consumers should be aware that funeral homes do not send out obituary notifications, except to those who have specifically signed up to receive these alerts. Anybody who receives a suspect message should take taking the following actions:
- Delete the message immediately without clicking any of the enclosed links.
- If you are concerned that a real death has occurred, Google the name of the funeral home to find its website, which will list all authentic upcoming services.
- If you opened a message you believe to be part of this scam and clicked on a link, run the appropriate virus and malware protection tools on your computer. If you believe your personal information may have been compromised, contact your financial account providers for any recommended next steps.
While Frazer Consultants is currently working with domain registrars to shut down past senders, the sensitive nature of this attack will likely make it an appealing approach for future spammers. For more information about the attack or for tips on staying safe, contact Frazer Consultants at 866.372.9372 or monitor the company's blog at http://www.frazerconsultants.com/blog/.