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updated 6/25/2012 12:51:03 PM ET 2012-06-25T16:51:03

If an email showed up in your inbox claiming that naked pictures of you or your girlfriend were spreading around the Web, you'd at the very least be intrigued, even if you know no such photos exist. They don't, right? Are you sure?

Digital crooks are using the promise of these pictures as bait in a new batch of email scams aimed at getting a foothold in your computer and accessing your confidential information. As the security firm Sophos  reported, the emails come with a variety of different subject lines, including, "Your private photos are there for anyone to see. Why??" and the more direct, "This has the potential to ruin you completely."

One message, after opening with "Hate to bother you," says, in poorly worded English, "This is quite crazy but someone sent me a nude picture of your girlfriend. It seems to be her in attachment right? We'll have to track down the bastard who do it I can help you!"

Another similar message reads, "I got to admit your GF has a nice butt:) I just don't know how these photos leaked online. I don't think your GF is in adult business isn't she?? Anyway I received this picture from three of mine FB buddies today. It's in attachment."

The attachment, of course, is where the real danger lurks. Labeled innocuously as "Photo.zip," Sophos identified the file as a sneaky and harmful Trojan  capable of burrowing into the computers of those who download it and harvesting their personal and financial information.

Aside from the obvious advice, which is to refrain from storing naked pictures of yourself on your computer or phone, it's important to also approach unsolicited emails with a very skeptical eye, and make sure you've got strong anti-virus software  that can keep you safe in the event your curiosity gets the best of you and you fall for one of these scams.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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