Email purporting to be from LinkedIn claims that you have been sent a message that you can view by clicking a link.
The message is not from LinkedIn. The link in the email opens a suspect online pharmacy website that tries to sell the user a range of dubious pharmaceutical products. If you receive this spam message, do not click any links that it contains.
[Email Address] You have a new message in your inbox
LinkedIn+Support sent you a message
Subject: You have a new message in your inbox
View/reply to this message
This email, which is designed to resemble a genuine message from the business orientated social network LinkedIn, claims that LinkedIn Support has sent the recipient a message. The recipient is urged to click a link in the email to view this message.
However, the message is not from LinkedIn. In fact, the link in the email leads to a dubious “drug store” website that tries to entice visitors to buy a range of pharmaceutical products, many of which are only legally available via a doctor’s prescription in most jurisdictions.
The spammers apparently hope that, by disguising their spam message as something completely unrelated to pharmaceutical products, it will firstly get past spam filters and secondly fool users into clicking the link and visiting the site. The spammers bank on at least a few recipients actually remaining on the site and buying products. Since this is a tactic that has been used and reused over and over again, it obviously works.
In any case, it is very unwise – and potentially dangerous – to buy medicines from one of these bogus pharmacy sites. Firstly, even if you do actually receive a product that you order, you have no way of knowing if it is the real thing or some potentially dangerous substitute. Secondly, because the medicine has not been properly prescribed by a doctor, it may interfere with other medications that you are taking or be unsuitable for you due to existing health conditions. Thirdly, these sites often use unsecure pages to process credit card transactions, which could certainly put your credit card details at risk. Fourthly, any group unscrupulous enough to use such deliberately deceptive spam tactics is not one you should trust with your credit card details or other personal information.
Moreover, these bogus drug store sites sometimes harbour malware as well.
These spam messages use HTML to disguise the real destination of the links they display. Holding the mouse cursor over a link in the email should display the underlying web address in your email client’s status bar and allow you to easily detect if the link is disguised.
Last updated: January 26, 2017
First published: January 12, 2011
By Brett M. Christensen