Hackers use Groupon scam to infect PCs

Hackers have created scams using the guise of popular online shopping and deal websites.

If you’re a fan of a good deal, you may want to pay closer attention to the next email you receive from Groupon – it might not be from the company at all! Cyber criminals have chosen the fast and the frugal as their newest targets.According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers have been sending out fake emails that claim a new feature allows friends to share Groupons with each other. Although the emails do a decent job of mimicking the look and format of Groupon emails, a quick eye for spelling will save most users for the time being, as the email subjects promise “Groupon dicount gifts.” However, the BBB warned that scammers may smarten up and fix their linguistic mishap.

The emails come with an attachment called “gift coupon.zip,” which infects Windows machines with a virus. As the BBB said:

“As always, stay safe from scams by keeping your virus software up to date and run a scan if you click on something phishy.”

Secret shopping scam costs
This isn’t the only scam that’s after your money. According to a recent Yahoo News article, online shoppers have been targeted by a live chat scam. Some users visiting their bank websites may find their account sessions suddenly frozen, with a window informing them the bank’s website doesn’t recognize the computer. After a few moments, a fake bank employee opens a chat session and asks for user account numbers and passwords.

“No, your bank’s website hasn’t been hacked,” the article stated. “The culprit is some malicious code sitting on your computer — a reiteration of the Shylock malware that keeps security experts on their toes. (The malware gets its curious name from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ – creative hackers are known to insert lines from the play into their code.) You think you’re talking to a bank representative, but instead you’re responding to an automated script that asks the right questions at the right time.”

Yahoo recommends keeping your antivirus software up to date. Many automated script attacks rely on fear to distract users from poorly written text, so think before your click on links or divulge personal information.

Do you frequently shop online? Have you ever been targeted by a live chat scam?

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.