Scam Of The Week: Death In The Family



funeralCybercrime is innovating on a known and disgusting scam; preying on people that have recently suffered a loss. Used to be that old time scam artists read the obituary notices in the paper, dress in black and show up to freeload at funerals. Well, here is the modern equivalent and it's much worse. Keep in mind that over 2.4 million Americans die in accidents every year, and over 1 million of these are sudden.

Unfortunately, the Internet allows crime to scale, so a new criminal industry of death has developed. These criminals scan the Internet for a death in the family and start social engineering the immediate family members via email or social media by claiming the deceased left them a confidential message that must be kept secret. They insist on strict confidentiality and after a few emails it turns out they want $2,500 in exchange for 3 DVDs and other "very important documents". How deep can these people sink? You'd wish for them to be six feet under themselves.


I would send your friends and family something like the following. Feel free to edit and send them a link to this Scam Of The Week: http://blog.knowbe4.com/scam-of-the-week-death-in-the-family

"By now you are used to seeing spam and phishing emails in your inbox, but cunning cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to find victims. Unfortunately, the direction that this is going is more and more targeted. That means cybercrime can directly target YOU because they have information specifically related to your personal data or events.

"At the moment, cyber criminals scan for deaths in your family (2,4 million Americans die every year, and over 1 million of these are sudden) and then try to scam you by claiming the deceased has left them very confidential information that needs to be kept secret from the rest of the family. They demand you transfer money for DVDs and "very important documents". Don't fall for it. It is a shame if you suffer a major loss that you also need to be on your guard for criminals like this, but they prey on you when you are at your most vulnerable. Keep an eye out for this when something like this happens in your family or a friend's. 

Hat Tip to Steve Ragan at CSO


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