Independence Day in the United States is a federal holiday, commonly known as the 4th of July. It is traditionally celebrated with various political speeches, ceremonies, fireworks, and parades. Spammers are exploiting the holiday by sending numerous spam messages related to Independence Day events. Many of the spam samples observed are encouraging users to take advantage of clearance sales on cars, as well as other product offers.
Figure 1. Financial spam targeting U.S Independence Day
This spam email tries to lure users by stating that the 4th of July event is already seeing a record demand in 2013 vehicles. By clicking the link provided in the email, the user is redirected to the Web page and asked to select the type of car model for a price comparison. After entering the details it takes the user to the Web page where they have to enter their personal details, email address, and payment details.
We have observed the following subject lines regarding the clearance sale spam attacks for the United States Independence Day:
- (July 4th) Independence Day Sale – Insane!
- Retrieve 4th of July Day Prices On All Cars Today
- Every 2013 automobile is (50%-off) July 4th
- Summer Kickoff (4th of July deals start now)
- INCREDIBLE 4th of July Savings on New Cars in Your Area xxx!
Figure 2. Product offer spam targeting the 4th of July
Recently, it has become a trend for spammers to invite users to purchase the products with a bogus coupon code for a discount. The discount codes used in the spam attacks are seen as JULY [RANDOM NUMBERS] and attempt to lure users into clicking a link in order to take advantage of the United States Independence Day offer.
The following example is from a spam email that encourages users to take advantage of bogus offers on pharmaceutical products. By clicking the URL, the user is redirected to a fake pharmaceuticals website. Users should be careful around fake promotions.
Figure 3. Fake pharmaceutical products promotion webpage
Symantec advises our readers to be cautious when handling unsolicited or unexpected emails. We at Symantec are constantly monitoring spam attacks to ensure that our readers are kept up-to-date with information on the latest threats.
Happy Independence Day!