Scammers tempt with Apple, but not how you’ll expect

Stock traders are the new targets in a scamming campaign that looks like it’s testing the waters to see just who might take the advice on a random tip.

When we see new scams, it’s usually the general public that are thought of, and not in the most delightful way. No one wants to see their bank account get emptied, and yet that’s exactly what many a scammer is trying to do, so it’s good to be on the look out for new efforts in that.

And here’s one now, and it’s not the general everyone that is being eyed off here, but rather business folk with a keen eye for investing in companies.

Picked up by Bitdefender, this one is a particularly tricky one, with spammers sending out messages citing that Apple is working on a new gadget that everyone will want, and you must invest, invest, invest!

“Right now the time is ripe for purchasing the shares of stock of Apple,” says the spam message designed to remove money from your wallet, adding that “very soon these shares of stock will increase high in value!”

This type of spam is called “penny stock spam” and is intended to mislead people to start investing in other companies, usually unknown ones that appear to be in demand, with others outside of the spamming targets investing regardless, and essentially falling into the trap at the same time.

An example of the scam going around. Why would anyone take the advice from a random unwarranted stock tip email? WHY?!

What’s unusual about this particular scam this time is that Apple is already a big company, so it seems strange that a scammer would be telling anyone to invest in them, especially if there’s no overall payout for the person who sent the email to begin with.

“We were surprised to see Apple mentioned in this type of stock spam campaign, especially since spammers usually apply these tactics with small firms,” said Loredana Botezatu, E-threat Analyst at Bitdefender in Bucharest.

“In this particular instance, the spammers may have been checking the impact such a campaign would have over the stock market as well as searching for new ways to influence the stock exchange and capitalise from future spam initiatives.”

“Perhaps this time the scammers wanted to give the stock spam a try with large companies instead of small unknown ones,” added Botezatu.

We’re not investment analysts – we’re technologists – but just like how we’ll always recommend you take caution when dealing with financial activity online, it’s probably wise to check with a financial planner before you heed advice from random email messages.