Black market sales emails are Chinese scams says CA researcher

According to Rossano Ferraris, a Computer Associates senior researcher, whilst the black market is nothing new, the surge in emails offering electronic goods at `interesting prices' is a new trend and, almost every day, his personal mailbox is full of emails coming from people pretending to offer electronics at below market value prices - and suggesting he visits their new commercial web site.

After some research, Ferraris says that the senders of the emails have been found to originate from China, but that the website selling the electronics goods is quite sophisticated, with a live agent chat facility for queries.

“Taking a look at the electronic equipment offered we noticed that all the stuff is undersold, and this raises our suspicions on possible illegal operations”, he noted, adding that, after a second analysis he and his team realised that the owner of the site is a Mr. Chu WenBo, who had registered his site for one year.

Data included in the registration for the site, the CA researcher goes on to say, proved to be false after another analysis by the CA's research team, whilst the phone number in the registration data was found to belong to the Chinese government.

In his latest security posting, Ferarris said that it obvious that, in the current economy, internet users will be attracted by fake e-commerce web sites offering very competitive prices for the latest electronic devices such as cameras, computers, mobile devices and other modern technology products.

“It is highly recommended to be very careful and seriously consider the tricks behind these offers”, he says, adding that CA's research concludes that these operations are illegal and part of a bigger black market scam.

So what is the outcome of ordering goods from these web sites?

According to Ferarris, the products being offered for sale on these sites are probably stolen goods, or quite possibly, part of a larger money laundering scam.

Perhaps worse, the CA researcher says the web sites may be part of a credit and debit card fraud scam, designed to harvest your card details for sale to other cybercriminals.

“China seems to be the perfect location where malicious authors are able to deliver illegal operations without being disturbed by authorities”, he says, adding that internet users should never trust emails whose sender is not known or is suspicious, and sceptical of any web site offering products at very low prices.

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