Father’s Day Spam Campaign Led to Online Gambling


Fathers Day is a time for people to show their love and gratitude to dear old dad – and for
spammers to flood your inbox. A new spam campaign was detected this weekend with a Fathers Day theme. The messages urged users to purchase a gift set containing a dozen premium cigars with a lighter and cutter for $20, saying it was the perfect present for dad.

Those that fell for it and clicked on the link were sent to an online gambling site. It’s not unusual for a spam link to send someone to a completely unrelated site (the old Canadian Pharmacy scam did this for years). Most often though such spam is malicious and will send the user to a fake storefront designed to steal their financial info. While it’s possible the scammers behind this campaign messed up and meant the links to go to a fake store front, it’s much more likely that it was intentional and designed to help them rake in money via affiliate fraud. They probably got paid a fee every time someone clicked on that spam link.

Affiliate fraud is a huge source of spam – ask anyone on Facebook who has gotten dumped on a site pushing survey after survey after clicking on what they thought was a link to a fun sounding app or offer (and it’s big in email spam too). Spammers are no longer interested in getting people to buy things. They know with most internet users being savvy enough to know better than to buy anything from a spammer that they needed new tactics to keep making money. That’s why spear phishing and affiliate fraud spam are both rising.

There is spam designed for every holiday. Look for Fourth of July and Back to School spam to be next!

Written by Sue Walsh


  1. Ben Watts · June 19, 2012

    I wonder how many people still phoned their dads to say “You should check out this gambling site!” Ah well. Of course, it’s a waste of time to the user and a sneaky buck for the spammer, in addition to being an unsafe habit to get into, but if there aren’t any malicious files being downloaded or information being stolen, then things could certainly be worse.

  2. Jessica Craig · June 21, 2012

    Hahaha, you kid, gamble the money to get your Dad a present! I just wonder if there were kids who signed for the gambling site or did parental control software kick in?

  3. Katherina Mayner · June 29, 2012

    I wonder how much money was made both to the person or company who created and sent those emails and those who own the site. Unless there is a study that finds that people who love their dads enough to get their dad gifts are also gamblers, I doubt if a large number ultimately gambled in the site. That’s why I could conclude that this is not a very sophisticated spamming attempt.

    It’s just oo bad for the site owners if they have to pay a lot to the spammers for getting them traffic. I don’t think that traffic led to conversions.

Leave A Reply