Spammers offer training course designed to lose you money, Sophos reports on latest financial scam

November 01, 2004 Sophos Press Release

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against spam and viruses, has warned computer users to be wary of unsolicited emails offering training and well paid jobs in the financial sector following sighting of a devious scam.

Sophos researchers have discovered a spam campaign, masterminded by a group of Russian spammers, which poses as a training course which will lead to a job with the financial institution Credit Suisse. Its intent is to defraud innocent computer users out of their savings.

The emails, which claim to come from Credit Suisse, offer a free two week training course over the web. Once the course is complete, the email claims, trainees will have "graduated".

However, the emails and associated website are an elaborate fake; and users who innocently sign-up for the course may discover they are asked to transfer money from their own bank accounts as one of the "lessons".

"Scammers are getting more and more sophisticated in the way in which they attempt to steal money from innocent internet users," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "This campaign involves luring people who may wish to generate an income from home into signing up for a fake training course that may teach them a very expensive lesson."

A typical scam email looks as follows:

A typical scam email

Sophos analysts believe the spam campaign and website are being run by a group of spammers based in Russia. At the time of writing, the bogus website featured in the scam email is no longer available.

Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses from the threats of both spam and viruses.