If you plan to buy your loved ones, friends and co-workers iTunes gift certificates this holiday season you might want to avoid e-mail offers for the cards. A group of 11 specialists are warning buyers of fake certificates that offer no monetary value while placing malware on the users computer.
The emails, which read “iTunes Gift Certiicate” provide readers with a 50% off option that will then give them a code that can be used for music downloads. Once a user downloads the file via attachment their computer is immediately infected.
In order to have users activate the malware the file says they must open the file “Gift_Certificate_iT2718.zip which in turn created a “backdoor” into the users computer which then allows the hackers to grab personal information such as credit cards and passwords.
Making matters worse the system creates a link to a remote server which allows for further contamination of the PC.
Holiday buyers are warned that other gift card scams are also circulating, including a popular option from a fake Starbucks account.
Even if an email looks very real, unsolicited emails should be ignored and remember that if an offer is “too good to be true” it likely is and should be avoided.