It's been just over two weeks since Apple's Steve Jobs died, but online scammers have been working hard to keep his memory alive — so they can exploit it for cash.
A spam email campaign has been hitting inboxes promoting the "Steve Jobs Charitable Foundation," an organization that claims to support young, talented computer programmers and Web coders, the security firm Trend Micro reported.
In poorly worded English, the message attempts to tap into people's sympathies surrounding Steve Jobs' passing by asking them to give "even a small amount" of money, which will then be used to help these young, gifted kids who "do not have opportunity to study and bring their ideas to life." The email's title — whose spelling alone should be a huge red flag — is "Raise money for Steve Jobs Charity Fond!"
Trend Micro researchers followed the link included in the scam and discovered that it redirects those who fall for the bait to an online casino payment site.
This fake auction is just one of several scams online crooks have served up since the death of the iconic Apple CEO. Similar ploys promised contests to win MacBook Pros in Jobs' memory, or free iPads; another phony Web page promised exclusive video footage from Jobs' funeral.
Anytime there's an event that draws international attention, it's important to exercise caution when searching for relevant information on the Internet. It's easy for cybercriminals and scammers to set up fraudulent websites or even pictures that can compromise your computer with a single click. If you are compelled to give money to a charitable organization, contact that group on the phone, or type in the organization's URL into the browser bar; don't navigate to a charity site from an email or social networking link. For more details on how to tell a phishing email from a legitimate one, click here.
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