Saturday, January 27, 2007

Phishers Switch Brand Bait to Coke and McDonald's

Article by Marketing VOX
According to, phishing hoaxes are spreading to nonfinancial consumer brands as phishers use well-known and trusted logos - such as those of Coke and McDonalds - as bait, and also using promotions, giveaways and sweepstakes as lures.
Coming at a time when marketers are relying more on interactive marketing to build one-on-one relationships with consumers, that shift not only threatens to erode trust, but also raises serious questions for marketers about liability and what action they should take - or not take - to thwart internet criminals who hijack their brands, writes AdAge.
"That red Coke logo is a shiny lure to get you to go through the load-in on your inbox, open up and then click through," said John Roberts, VP-product, OpenDNS, a year-old domain-name-system service platform. "Anything which can take decades of brand promise and put it to use for criminal activity is going to be tried." Beyond possible legal repercussions, phishing scams can dent consumer trust in a marketer and damage brand reputation. "If [consumers] start getting emails and you don't do anything about it, they think your website has been hacked and that their personal information has been compromised," said Jevans, adding that consumers don't realize that phishers send information from websites around the world. "If it doesn't stop happening…your online marketing effectiveness plummets."

EDITORIAL: Be VERY weary about opening ANY email promising a deep discount or something FREE. Most of those offers are really hackers trying to steal your personal information and/or infect your computer with malware.