Yesterday evening I learned of a new “phishing scheme” targeting small business owners, WordPress users and bloggers alike. The scam, sent to website administrators through an email or contact form found on their site, informs the recipient that they are being recruited to appear on the hit television show “Shark Tank,” a show where affluent investors search for new and upcoming entrepreneurs to fund.
In a message to website owners, the hackers claim that they are organizing “the Biggest Launch opportunity of 2017,” and urge the administrator to go to their website and fill out an online application to secure their spot as a potential contestant on the show. You can see what the message looks like below:
While I was 99% sure that this message was an active phishing attempt from the start, considering that I am operating this website at a net loss of thousands of dollars, it would be nice for millionaires to give me millions of dollars for my work – I can see why this phishing attempt might be appealing to people whom don’t know any better. So, just to be sure, I reached out to Shark Tank support, showed them the screen shot above and asked them if they could confirm whether this information was indeed real. If not, I also advised them to take the proper action in alerting the authorities that a new online scam was spreading using their name and brand.
Just as I suspected, the whole thing was nothing more than a scam. Fish Tank support told me that they suspected it was just someone trying to “recruit” information and told me that they “see no reason for me to click that link.” Oddly enough, they also didn’t seem too concerned that hackers were trying to compromise website owners using their show.
Regardless, as this information appeared to me for the first time just 24 hours ago, I figured I would put this article out there so that other internet users do not fall victim to this trap. If you have received a similar message, you can report the scam and IP Address the visitor came from (if you have that) to: www.tips.fbi.gov
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