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iPhone 5S and 5C hype used for Apple share scam: Bitdefender

iPhone 5S and 5C hype used for Apple share scam: Bitdefender

Security vendor finds that buzz around Apple’s latest smartphones is used for an email scam

Spammers have attempted to convince people to buy shares in Apple off the back of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C buzz.

Under the guise of an internal source, a spam message tantalised readers with the revelation of device being developed at Apple that will be more revolutionary than the recently launched iPhone 5s and 5C.

Following the distribution of one million spam e-mails over a 14 hour timeframe, BitDefender found that 1.5 per cent of recipients responded to it.

Bitdefender spam researcher, Adrian Miron, said that the email, as any other stock spam message, was made to look like a confidential message sent by someone to only a few people.

“Known as penny stock spam, this type of email usually misleads people into buying shares of worthless or small companies at small prices,” he said.

“This will artificially increase the value of those shares in a matter of hours or days.”

Miron adds that the value of those shares grows due to the sudden increase in demand, and scammers can sell all their shares at higher prices.

“They then move to another company,” he said.

Media scrutiny

Bitdefender spam researcher, Eduard Tataru, said the choice of Apple for the campaign was somewhat peculiar, considering it is a big company that is closely monitored by the media.

“It is almost impossible to have confidential information circulate without media knowing about it,” he said.

Bitdefender’s research found that the emails were sent from servers located in various regions such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Columbia, Russia, China, Belarus, Denmark and Saudi Arabia.

Tataru recommends consulting a financial specialist before taking chances on the stock market.

“Never take into account money advice that comes into your inbox, especially if you haven’t specifically asked for it,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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