Those pesky hackers are up to new tricks again. This time trying to sell you the application Skype, which is supposed to be free, and spreading a new spam campaign that supposedly offers a new 'upgraded' version of Adobe Reader. In both cases, you end up on a phishing website which is designed to look legitimate or mimic a real site so that users will willingly relinquish personal information and potentially steal your money.
Adobe has recently warned users on their site of a phishing/spam email scam that is pretending to offer a download of a new version of Adobe Reader. The email that users are receiving claims to be an entity from Adobe and may require the recipient to register on a website before they are able to download the program. The website is really a phishing website which may steal a computer user's personal information.
If you ever receive an email offering Adobe Reader, it is strongly suggested that you should delete the email immediately. Adobe has stated that their Reader software is free and available for download directly from the Adobe Reader's download page at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
Sunbelt Software recently discovered a third-party site new-voip-online-access(dot)com, shown in Figure 1 below, offering a paid version of Skype for £1.27 (USD$1.97) a month which can also be accessed from the domain skype-upgrade(dot)com. The website is essentially a phishing website that appears to sell the Skype application. The website even goes as far as to tout Skype's top features such as VOIP (Voice Over IP) and free SMS texting. Another way for creators of these phishing websites to trick users is by offering Skype as an 'upgrade' so that a naive computer user would think that a new 'paid-for' version of Skype has additional features or functions. Many computer users already know that Skype is a free download and any service that you pay for is handled through the actual Skype application.
Figure 1. Phishing site selling Skype download.
Don't be surprise to run across other phishing websites that sell software that is normally free to use. The application Skype is an easy target because even though Skype can be used for free, some users do pay for certain features within Skype. You must understand that an application that is initially free but may charge for some type of added feature or premium service can sometimes be misunderstood and thus scammers take advantage of the confusion and attempt to pass of a free program as a paid one.
Have you ever been offered a paid-version of Skype or Adobe reader through email? Have you ever attempted to download Adobe Reader from a website other than Adobe.com and ran into some issues?