by Brett

New Online Scam Poses As Paid Web Ad

from the one-step-ahead dept

Shape-shifting internet scammers have done it again. The goal: lure unsuspecting users into submitting credit card and/or other personal information under false pretenses, aka phishing. Nothing new there -- anyone who has read their email in the past couple years has probably received at least one fake eBay or Washington Mutual notice requesting that you update your account. Perhaps one too many of us caught on to these fraudulent emails (not having an eBay, WaMu, etc. account is usually the first sign of suspicious activity). The latest spin on this (internet)-age-old chicanery: paid web ads for cheap airline tickets. Who woulda thunk it? Tapping our innate desire for discount airfare while exploiting our inherent trust of online advertisers is a pretty devious combination. People also trust those who carry the ads to weed out bogus come-ons, not realizing how difficult that is. This means, it's probably only a matter of time until Google or Yahoo get sued by someone who fell for the fake ad. The scammers compound the theft with a double-whammy, displaying an error message after receiving your details and requesting the fee by money order. Ouch. No word on a victim count yet, but then again, cyber-fraud of this nature seems to flourish even without a high success ratio.

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