Should you trust this 'BBC' news report? Work from home scam spammed out

Filed Under: Social networks, Spam, Twitter

Who do you trust online?

Your friends? Lady Gaga? The media? How about the BBC?

If you read a news story on the BBC website, would you trust what it was saying?

A Naked Security reader forwarded us this interesting email which (fortunately) had been quarantined by his anti-spam defences. What's particularly interesting is the webpage to which it links.

Work at home spam email

If you were tempted to click on the link are taken to a website which looks like this.

Fake BBC website

A pretty convincing replica of the BBC website. But, of course, it's not the real BBC News website at www.bbc.co.uk/news, but instead a page that is copying the popular site's graphics and style.

The URL in the address bar might be a giveaway, if you were watching carefully enough.

Closeup of fake BBC website

And see how it refers to a housewife in Abingdon - that's because I was in Abingdon, just outside Oxford, UK, when I visited the webpage. The site has tailored its content to appear more compelling to me by determining where in the world I am.

If I had visited from Bhutan, Botswana or Bognor I would have been told the single mother lived in those places instead.

The purpose of the spam campaign, and the bogus BBC website, is to try to convince you to sign up for a working from home scheme.

Work at home website

As they're using subterfuge to promote their scheme - my advice would be to keep your distance.

Hat-tip: Thanks to Naked Security reader @philrandal for bringing this particular spam campaign to our attention.

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9 Responses to Should you trust this 'BBC' news report? Work from home scam spammed out

  1. Poor effort with the domain....
    A subdomain would have been much more effective.. i.e.: http://bbc.worldnews.co.uk (made up)
    Seems like a silly thing for such a scarily good replica (to the untrained eye).

  2. anne · 1128 days ago

    I have seen this before .. funnily enough I live just near Abingdon. I can see how tempting it can be. If you are in need of a job and money to survive or bring up a afamily.

  3. Richard · 1128 days ago

    And why would a UK news report, on a UK website, about someone in the UK, list money in US dollars?

    How about the strap-line of "How a single mother from Abingdon ...", followed in the next paragraph by, "Katherine Baker of Union City, California"?

    It's true what they say about fools and gold!

  4. Toby · 1128 days ago

    Crumbs, he was quick off the mark - the domain name was only registered on 17th September !!!

  5. Jem · 1127 days ago

    My browser times out trying to access http://www.bbc11.co.uk and the link in your report t.co/c5Lzq2UM only gets as far as http://www.newslink22.com/?34048 which also times out.

    Does this imply the scammers have taken the sites down already?

    I first heard about this via Dorset police who cautioned to beware of falling for this type of scam.

    But they only mentioned that the website was bbc11.co.uk not bbc.co.uk, not that this was a get rich quick scheme.

    The problem is that genuine websites often do redirect to similar websites for sub-pages,
    so you can't say that just because the subpage is not the same as the publicised page that it is necessarily not genuine.

  6. Bemused Boomer · 1127 days ago

    This same type of scam hijacked a friend's email address and sent me an email saying she was so relieved to be able to pay her bills now and had a link to a similar scam web site. Fortunately, I am old and suspicious so I don't respond to any of this stuff.

  7. Securitybay · 1127 days ago

    BBC should sue them!

  8. Julie · 1124 days ago

    I had one similar from a newspaper (which I had never heard of before yesterday)....

  9. Robert Gracie · 1124 days ago

    I mean if I was at the BBC and I saw this I would go immediately after those people behind it for taking a registered Trademark and using it for other means, its just that these things are stupid

    1. Update time is GMT NOT ET
    2. The real site uses £ not $
    3. The offer in that statement is far to good to be true
    4. The real BBC would NEVER allow a page like this to be produced if it didn't have any credence behind it

    Those are a 4 things to ask yourself is this a genuine BBC web page or a fishy scam BBC web page

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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.