New Spam Scam Uses .Gov Links

Traditionally viewed as a symbol of trustworthiness, spammers have found a workaround to use .gov URLs as part of email scams.

A new spam scam uses .gov URLs as a way to lure marks into a false sense of security, Symantec recently announced. While .gov URLs have traditionally been reserved for government websites, spammers have found a way to use the popular URL shortening website to carry out their scam.

Many of the spam emails contain a link with a shortened URL, which if clicked will redirect to a work-at-home scam website. The scam website is designed to look like a financial news network website, except many of the links lead to a final website where the scammer tries to make a sale.

“Make money and change your life NOW!” the website reads. “Within five minutes you could be making up to $87 an hour and work from the comfort of your own home.”

This spamming technique is not new, Symantec reported, but the use of .gov website endings in the scam is a new development. “Symantec encourages users to always follow best practices and exercise caution when opening links even if it is a .gov URL,” the Symantec website reads.

For an illustrated guide of how the new scam works, visit