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Scam email disguised as legitimate

Published November 17, 2014 at 9:37 am


Even a legitimate email marketing campaign, if badly managed, can be mistaken for spam or malware. Companies should do everything they can to make sure their multi channel marketing push shows the recipient that there’s no chance of their getting infected.

That means staying one step ahead of scam artists and making choices that distinguish their real email from a fake one. The more official they can appear, the better.

One recent example comes from an email scam claiming to be from Pizza Hut. Main Street has reported that a six-year-old “botnet” has been circulating email messages that trick users into installing malware by promising them a “free pizza” to celebrate the company’s 55th anniversary. Even though this information is off by three years, Pizza Hut did recently launch a rebranding strategy, which might be enough for less-informed users to think this is a legitimate offer.

The Federal Trade Commission has released a statement warning customers not to click on the link included with the email and to do some research to determine whether or not they have been targeted by identity thieves.

“Scammers can create emails that look like they’re from real companies, and even use company logos,” the statement says. “Ask yourself if you signed up to get email discounts from this company. If not, it’s unlikely they’d send you a real discount out of the blue.” It also advises users to “look for giveaways that the email isn’t the real thing” and check the company’s URL.

With this in mind, marketers should make it easy for their audience to validate their messages. A strong email campaign could include links to official webpages and messages that specifically address security.

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