I’ve just posted something else on “Londoning” or the “Friend in Need” scam at the ESET blog, as it’s based on a question someone asked me there. However, I’ll post the link here, as it would have been just as appropriate for this blog (and kind of follows on from my last post here).
It ranges from the possible exploitation of the Iceland volcanic eruption at Eyjafjallajokull for SEO poisoning, to a variation on the “friend stranded and moneyless in London” scam that I haven’t seen yet, but seems all too likely to be used sooner or later. The possibility was actually flagged by Zeljka Zorz in a post at Help Net Security:
Also, this situation made me think and realize that we will probably soon witness scam emails that take advantage of this “Iceland volcano erupting” situation and will try to claim that your friend has been stranded in the UK because of the lack of flights and has run out of funds, so would you please send some? Thanks!
By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why I never do podcasts, it’s because I never want to be heard trying to pronounce names like Eyjafjallajokull…
There’s a lot more detail (and more links) in the ESET post, but I thought it was worth summarizing some of my suggestions for lessening your exposure to this sort of scam here.
David Harley FBCS CITP CISSP
Small Blue-Green World
AVIEN Chief Operations Officer
ESET Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence
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