Spare a thought for those working this Christmas..

Filed Under: Spam

For many of us, it's a day of putting our feet up, trying to calculate how long to leave the turkey in the oven, and hoping the relatives will have left before the "Doctor Who" Christmas special starts on BBC One.

But there are some groups of people for whom it's just another day, who don't have the luxury of taking some time off just because it's December 25th. Yes, I'm talking about the spammers, the scammers, the cybercriminals, the identity thieves..

So, spare a thought for those who might be working hard today, just like every other day..

Those working this Christmas

.. and if you know someone who's maybe a little bit vulnerable, or maybe lonely and searching for romance, don't let this be a Christmas that brings bad cheer in the form of a romance scam, a phish, a Trojan horse or a Viagra spam.

For many people this can be a sad time of year where they feel alone more than ever, making them easy pickings for romance scammers who try to foster a romantic relationship over email. Some of these emails don't arrive out of the blue either - you might know someone who is looking for love on online dating sites, and believe they have found the man or woman of their dreams, only to discover later that their sweetheart's intentions are less than honourable.

Always take care of your heart (and your wallet!) when you're looking for love.

Happy Christmas everyone, and stay secure.

If you could send the scammers and cybercriminals a Christmas present, what would it be? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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11 Responses to Spare a thought for those working this Christmas..

  1. Blockader · 1396 days ago

    I get posts like that on occasion, but one day I recieved one from a girl who claimed to be dead and proud of it...never had I received a message from a dead girl before so I had to respond just to see what would happen.
    http://blockader.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/thought...

    • Nice one.

      I wonder if she was going to pretend to be deaf as a way of avoiding any phone calls if your romance blossomed? Maybe there was a very good reason (err.. like she doesn't exist..) that "she" wanted the relationship to flower via email and Facebook?

  2. I wanted to say something that have happened to me... I decided not to, because there are so many things in this, so it'll probably sound really complicated and silly. Since I don't know if mine is a romance scam, I feel its also a mixture of things.

    I hope people themselves are careful, and not keep trusting everyone out there, internet have become the place, where its easy to look for vulnerable people and hurt them. And even if you find a person who seems so genuine and unique, just please be careful, even after 3 years being together, still be careful. I learnt way too late, but luckily got out.

    There's a chance that if it goes deeper, you may get hurt more in the end, possibly alot more than just hurt.

    I learnt alot, I have an internet addiction, but I learnt alot, and I'm glad.

  3. Anne · 1396 days ago

    Well, I was recently moving into my new Mac, and I came across a little essay I wrote almost ten years ago involving imaginary responses to the spam I was receiving. It's still a little bit funny, and kind of instructive; some of the spams (like the Nigerian and the "enhancement" spams) still endure. Others, like the "Become an Ordained Minister" seem to have fallen away. A few were intended to take advantage of the 9/11 events. None (at that point) contained any sort of malicious payload, phishing attempt, or other mischief. My essay is posted here: http://rosarystudio.com/?p=772 in pretty much its original form.

  4. I would "present" the cybercriminals and scammers with a Wikileaks dump, which outed each. and. every. one. of. them. Real names, Real addresses, and a copy of the relevant indictments.

    Oh, and I might just be willing to host such a "dump" - after all, the truth is an absolute defense to defamation of character in the USofA!

    ~EdT.

  5. Alvin · 1396 days ago

    I would say, "Marry" CHRISTmas!

  6. Anonymous Elf · 1395 days ago

    I would jab them with a fondue fork.

  7. Thu Win · 1394 days ago

    I don't think the virus makers deserve antivirus programs
    because they use it to know whether their virus could be detected
    or not.

  8. Thu Win · 1394 days ago

    My ideal present for virus makers? A taste of their own
    medicine! Virus for this computer.

  9. BlueLion · 1391 days ago

    I give them the sound of silence, nothing, nada...doing
    nothing is like voting with my fingers, the less people nibble at
    their hooks, makes it harder for them to make money, i mean thats
    what's all about at the end of the day like any business,
    cold hard cash. So ignoring means they won't go away
    totally, but i believe it can make a difference. computer/technical
    security needs to be as easy and in the forefront of peoples minds
    the same as Home/Car security. it's easy for us IT types
    to be critical cause we generally know what we are talking about,
    but for the mum n dads at home... they just want to click n go, no
    time for messing around with security settings and learning fancy
    jargon... with the bad guys preying on peoples ignorance, do we
    make ordinary people tech savvy (will happen slowly over
    generations maybe) or do we bring the tech to the people, like a
    commodity, you switch it on it works and you trust the
    "brand name" (is this what apple is tryign to
    do?) to esnure the confidentiaity, integrity and avaiable of the
    product/service.

  10. Paul · 1386 days ago

    Romance scammer are every where.
    The way to prevent is raise the awareness to everyone you know.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.