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    February has already begun, which means Valentine’s Day is close at hand. As usual, spammers will definitely hype up their malicious activities. It is only the first day of the so-called “love month” but we have already seen at least two spam samples leveraging one of the most-celebrated special occasions when people flock to websites that advertise gifts they can give to their loved ones.

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    These spammed messages contained links that led users to a fake gift card promotion site and a site that advertised and sold replica watches, respectively.

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    Every special occasion and/or holiday is, in today’s threat-laden Internet landscape, not just a time for people to celebrate but also a time for spammers to scam unwitting users with their devious scams, as evidenced by these previous blog entries:

    Spammed messages come in many forms and with varying payloads, some redirect users to sites that sell anything and everything under the sun, most especially pharmaceutical and replica items; some lead to links to malicious or malware-ridden sites; some lead to sites that advertise bogus promotions; and some carry malware as attachments. That is why users should always be wary of opening email messages, particularly those that come from unknown sources.

    Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ protects users from these kinds of threat via its Web reputation service, which blocks access to known malicious sites and domains; email reputation service, which prevents spammed messages from even reaching your inboxes; and file reputation service, which detects and deletes all kinds of malicious files.

    Non-Trend Micro product users can also stay protected from these threats by using the eMail ID plug-in, which helps identify legitimate email messages in your inbox. It helps avoid fake messages and the risks associated with them.

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