Scam Warning: 'Adobe Acrobat X PDF Reader. Upgrade Available Now' Spam Email

Posted: April 7, 2011

Scammers are out spreading phishing attacks and hoping to catch a net full of unaware PC users by using Adobe as their bait.

Spammers are sending emails alerting PC users of an upgrade to the 'New' Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a fake. When they click on the link, they are taken to a bogus Adobe webpage that asks them to complete a form providing their personal data that includes credit card or bank information, and are deceptively charged for the free Adobe Acrobat Reader download. Do not fall prey. This email and the bogus Adobe webpage are part of a scam to cheat you out of your money.

Here is the wording from the 'deceptive' email spam:

ADOBE PDF READER SOFTWARE UPGRADE NOTIFICATION
This is to remind that a new version of Adobe Acrobat Reader with enhanced features for viewing, creating, editing, printing and internet-sharing PDF documents has been released.

Cyber criminals are exploiting the trust factor of legitimate products such as Adobe, Microsoft, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and other branding and are using social engineering to lure would-be-victims into their scam and trap. Crooked programmers and graphic artists have gone to great lengths to mimic or capture the essence of the Adobe brand in their slick imitation of the interface. Unless you are really paying attention, you may not notice the bogus URL that only contains a reference to Adobe and not the familiar Adobe domain.

Hopefully, most PC users of Adobe products will become suspicious of the spam email. The phishing scam reads:

From: Adobe Systems Incorporated [mailto:newsletter@adobe-mailer.com]
Subject: Get more done, much faster, with Acrobat X PDF Reader. Upgrade Available Now

GETTING MORE DONE AT WORK NOW COMES IN A CONVENIENT BOX

See how Adobe Acrobat X Reader is a step above anything you've experienced before, so you can be even more productive.

Upgrade now: http://www.official-adobe-acrobatx.com

Just how much faster can you work with Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader software? Fast enough to stay on top of last-minute changes, connect with key decision makers, and share updates with co-workers.

You'll discover how easy it is to reuse content by exporting PDF files to Microsoft Word or Excel formats. And how quickly you can automate multi-step tasks with new, guided Actions. No wonder PC Magazine says, "There's a lot to like in Acrobat X PDF Reader." See for yourself at :

http://xxx.official-adobe-acrobatx.com

Copyright 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Adobe Systems Incorporated
343 Preston Street
Ottawa, ON K1S 1N4
Canada

It may sound legit, but it is fallacious, since Adobe Acrobat Reader was only designed to present information in a fixed layout, and thus only allows users to view and/or print PDF files and not create or edit them.

Additionally, why would you need to provide credit card information when from inception, Adobe Acrobat Reader has always been offered as freeware, meaning 'no charge'? This alone screams scam.

A Word of Caution:

  1. Do not open emails without verifying the source. Cyber criminals are desperate to increase their already overflowing bank accounts, and have boldly hacked personal accounts to gain access to pertinent information such as your email address. They also have hijacked legitimate brand logos, domains, or personas (i.e. interface designs).
  2. Do not provide your private data (i.e. bank or credit card information, or email address) to anyone before verifying that the source and request are legitimate. A mistake could cost you dearly.
  3. Do not click on dubious links or visit suspicious websites, they may be malicious and provide an infected download onto your PC.
  4. Protect your data and PC by keeping current your antimalware solution and staying atop of all software upgrades and patches to known vulnerabilities.

If you want to access the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it here, at Adobe's official and trusted site: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

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