Spam campaign roundup: The Thanksgiving Day Edition

November 30, 2015

Savvy shoppers are in search of the best deals this time of the year. Black Friday is the day after the Thanksgiving Day in the United States and is regarded as the kickoff of the holiday shopping season that extends until Cyber Monday. Recently, this shopping extravaganza is extended for a longer period of time and retailers offer deep discounts even weeks ahead of Black Friday. This is a perfect opportunity for the cyber criminals to lure consumers with unsolicited advertisements for products which often lead to fraud, phishing and even malware.

Over the past week, the Dell SonicWALL threats research team has been following a steady growth in Black Friday and Thanksgiving related spam emails as seen below:

As the Thanksgiving weekend approaches, we have been receiving an increasing amount of holiday related spam emails. These emails have a common theme of trying to lure consumers to click on the links and provide their personal information in exchange for access to special offers and deep discounts. The following are some of the most common email subjects:

  • Let your Smartphone find your parked car, Thanksgiving special on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.
  • Get your 1K Black Friday Visa Gift Card!
  • [Thanksgiving Insane Discount Today] 1 Ink Saves You 85% on Printer Ink Today w/ $0 Shipping Right Now
  • Thanksgiving Sale Start! All Site Up 70% OFF Discount Now
  • Re: Amazon Prime wants to give you a Thanksgiving Reward
  • Claim your Walmart $50 Thanksgiving reward, No.13055738
  • Redeem your CVS Thanksgiving Points by 11/26/2015
  • Complete Listings of Black Friday Furniture Sales
  • re: Skip All Lines This Black Friday…
  • Cyber Monday Home Warranty Sale!
  • Amazon wants to give you a Cyber Monday Reward
  • reply: Your Personalized Black Friday Deals From Amzn Products Up To 95% Off?…

Some of the spam emails purport to be from retailers and they claim that the users received a gift card.

The links on the emails will take users to a spam site which is part of the same affiliate marketing scheme that we have seen in the past. Some of them claim to come from popular department stores promising gift cards or coupons, that when clicked would take you to a URL different from the real merchant’s website but has the merchant’s branding. They will try to convince users to sign up for different offers while these scammers earn commissions for each successful subscription.

We urge our users to always be vigilant and cautious with any unsolicited email and to avoid providing any personal information, particularly if you are not certain of the source.

Dell SonicWALL Gateway Antivirus monitors and provides constant protection against such malicious threats.