An international antivirus software developer, ESET, spoke about the most common fraud schemes that allow cybercriminals to cash in on customers during the discount season, in particular on Black Friday.
The relevant information is available on the company’s website.
“Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” are already close, and online stores are vying to lure buyers with big discounts and great offers. It’s no secret that in the season of discounts, users spend considerable amounts, and a significant part of online purchases is carried out through a smartphone. Cybercriminals do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the festive hype by preparing numerous fraud schemes on the Internet aimed at stealing funds and data of inattentive users”, – the report said.
So, according to ESET experts, first of all, in the season of discounts and sales, you should beware of fraudulent ads that attract the attention of potential victims with too low prices, contain grammatical errors or strange polls. As a rule, they are distributed through hacked accounts on social networks.
ESET reports that, usually, clicking on such an ad will redirects user to a malicious website that could advertise fake products. In the worst-case scenario, you can immediately download malware onto your device. Therefore, during the holiday season, it is better to refrain from clicking on suspicious ads.
The next popular type of fraud reportedly is fake discounted goods sites.
The scheme of online fraud can be built on the erroneous belief of users that a reputable online store has launched a separate domain to place offers on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can also become a victim of homographic attacks, which are based on registration by attackers of domains similar to the original ones with valid certificates”, – the company explains.
ESET also warns of such a common fraud method as fake gift certificates and coupons. So, ESET specialists recently recorded a case when a new family of banking Trojans distributed fake discount coupons at McDonald’s. However, instead of an attractive discount, users launched a malicious program that could take screenshots, simulate mouse and keyboard actions, and even read keystrokes.
It is important to remember that coupons and gift cards are usually distributed through the company’s official channels, such as legitimate applications, so it’s better to look for attractive offers there, and any other coupons should arouse your suspicion”, — the ESET emphasized.
Another well-known fraud scheme is the distribution of phishing emails that are sent in order to gain access to confidential user information.
According to ESET, on average Black Friday, about 12% of emails received will be scams.
Similar online fraud campaigns were also launched during the last World Cup.
The last type of fraud that ESET has warned about is related to malware apps with discounts and coupons. In order to avoid infection of equipment through questionable applications, experts advise downloading them through official stores – Google Play or the App Store.
Most retailers typically have formal programs, but cybercriminals find sophisticated ways to distribute fake applications. Therefore, always pay attention to the description of the program, the negative reviews and permissions that it requires”, — the company added.
Experts recall the need to be vigilant:
- the user can be quietly redirected to a fake site, where he will “give” his data to scammers;
- you should check the addresses from which discount coupons and gift certificates come (in the address bar there should not be extra letters and numbers);
- Do not download attachments that are not checked by antivirus, even if the sender’s address is not suspicious;
- for online shopping, it is better to have a separate virtual card and send to it exactly the amount that is required to pay for a particular product.
ESET is a leading developer of computer security solutions and an expert in IT security. The company was founded in 1992 in Slovakia and today is represented in more than 180 countries around the world.
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