The bogus messages pretend to be from Marks & Spencer and promise £100 worth of the retail giant’s vouchers in return for forwarding the email on to at least eight people and copying in a legitimate email address at Persimmon Homes.
However, neither Marks & Spencer nor the house building firm has endorsed the email and both advise recipients to delete it immediately.
"This message is phoney and is fooling users because it seems plausible given the growing trend for companies to make offers via email," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
Forwarding the messages and other people’s email addresses can leave users susceptible to spam, phishing attacks and identity fraud, according to experts.
"I would advise users intent on sharing these chain emails to check its authenticity, before deciding to forward.
Hoaxes of this nature may appear harmless but they can waste valuable bandwidth, impact staff productivity and place email addresses into the wrong hands.
If you receive an email that appears too good to be true, it probably is,” he added.
Fake M&S emails spread rapidly
By Fiona Raisbeck on Jun 8, 2007 10:28AM