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updated 10/3/2011 2:20:10 PM ET 2011-10-03T18:20:10

Where there's hype, there will be scammers, and so it is with the iPhone 5.

The latest version of the world's most popular smartphone will almost certainly be introduced tomorrow (Oct. 4) at a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

So it's only natural that an email has been making the rounds, with a slick Apple-style graphic promoting the purported new handheld. But all the ad delivers is misinformation and malware.

"iPhone 5 GS," reads the ad copy. "Available Friday. In store or delivered to your door."

"Check it out," teases a link embedded in the email.

If you click the link, you might expect to be taken to the Apple Store website. Instead, says Finnish security firm F-Secure, the link downloads what appears to be an image file, but is really an Internet relay chat (IRC) Windows application that could hijack your machine.

The scam email was first noticed today (Oct. 3) by Dutch journalist Abram Wagenaar, who tweeted a screenshot of it around the world and wondered if the email had been " sent to journalists only."

Tech-savvy readers might remember that Apple never confirms any upcoming products before launch. Another clue that it's fake might be that the iPhone pictured in the email is transparent.

Security experts recommend installing anti-virus software on every Web-connected device, whether it's a PC, Mac or smartphone, to avoid infection by similar scams.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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