Father’s Day is just around the corner in many of the world’s countries and spammers have taken the opportunity to direct traffic to their shady websites with the use of emails that promote “a great gift for a dad.”
SophosLabs has intercepted numerous emails entitled “Buy your dad a cigar.” Apparently originating from Philip@givefather.com, the messages are well designed, advertising a box of cigars, a cutter and a lighter for the fabulous price of only $19.99 (15 EUR).
However, as expected, the links and the buttons contained in the email don’t actually point to websites that sell Father’s Day gifts. Instead, they mostly lead to gambling websites.
“Presumably the spammers are hoping to earn affiliate commission by driving traffic to the websites, and hope that the thought of buying a cigar at the last-minute for Father's Day will be enough to get folks to click,” explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
On the other hand, as Cluley highlights, the spammers may have simply embedded links to gambling sites by mistake, instead of those that point to websites that sell cigars.
Either way, in reality, sites advertised via spam that sell cigars, watches and other luxury items are no different from the Canadian pharmacies that promote all sorts of shady drugs. That’s why users are advised to refrain from purchasing products pushed with such aggressive marketing methods.
Also, it’s recommended that internauts never click on links that come in unsolicited emails.
In this case the crooks earned money via affiliate marketing sites that paid them for driving traffic towards the gambling/cigar websites, but there are some even more dangerous situations in which the links point to malware-infested domains that spread Trojans.