After reality TV star Kim Kardashian was reportedly robbed of jewellery worth six million euros and more at gunpoint, cyber security leader Norton recorded a whopping 2,400 per cent increase in Kardashian-related spam and scams within the first 24 hours of the news.
Cyber criminals were quick to notice the high public interest and capitalised on the trending news to entice people to click on links or attachments.
“They made use of social engineering tactic under which they targeted people by hooking them with emotional messages,” Norton said in a statement.
The attackers posted sensational or emotional breaking news stories, sometimes capitalising on a recent news event or making up a fake, shocking news story.
Nearly one hundred different subject-line variations were seen in spam messages alone associated with Kardashian’s name, including “Breaking News” and “Photos of” in the subject line.
The majority of messages Norton tracked were in English, French and German.
Norton highlighted ways to spot a fake and asked the users to be sceptical.
“Just because you see it on your feed does not necessarily mean it is true. Sometimes, your friends may have fallen victim to the scam and are not aware of it; scammers using click-jacking could have hijacked their account. Always check the link before clicking,” the company said.
Also, if you need to know if the event happened, use a search engine to verify the validity of the headline. If it were a real story, there would be several news articles listed about the event.
The company asked the users not to open e-mails or click on unidentified attachments and report suspicious activities or content to the social media platform or your e-mail service provider.