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Spammers using job offers to get in

March 08, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A staple of the spammer's arsenal -- those come-ons for job offers -- is getting a makeover because of the recession as online identity thieves concoct clever new ways to sneak into people's computers.

One tactic the bad guys are trying is a twist on an old standby: e-mails purporting to come from legitimate companies that say they're still hiring. The messages are loaded with links to the company's official website to throw off suspicious recipients but are packed with a dangerous surprise -- a computer virus -- hidden in an attachment that is supposed to be a job application.

Spammers also are sending e-mails pretending to reject people for jobs. Those messages say the recipients weren't selected for a particular job, so the company has sent back their application -- disguising the malicious program.

One way to protect yourself is by never clicking on links or opening e-mail attachments from people you don't know. If you're a job seeker who gets one of these messages, contact the company's human resources department yourself to follow up on an application or to make sure a job opening exists.

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