Child Predator Phishing Scam Preys On Parents' Fears

KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman warns that a new phishing scam targeting parents with fake alerts about child predators has been found. The campaign starts with the receipt of an email with a subject line like: “Alert: There is a child predator living near you!” This information is based on a “local area zip code.”

Sjouwerman stated, “Just when you think phishing criminals cannot sink any further, you get confronted with a ‘new low.’ This phishing scam preys a on parent's fear. The scam email looks like a warning for parents about a child predator that moved into their zip code area, but you don’t remember signing up for such a service. It’s a really low phishing scam.”

When the email is opened, it "warns" the target victim that a predator has moved into the area and provides a link for more information. Clicking the link infects the computer with malware that will try to steal passwords, credit information, and other information that leads up to stealing one’s identity.

If someone clicks on the link, they are redirected through several sites to land on the “Kids Live Safe” website, which is a service that sells localized reports on sex offenders. But this phishing attack is not from that website, it just sends victims there to try to look credible and distract attention from the fact your computer is now infected with malware.  (Attached) is an example of what this scam looks like.

“Cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated by the month,” Sjouwerman noted. “It is really a must to step employees through effective security awareness training and send them simulated phishing attacks on a regular basis.”

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