More than 400 phishing campaigns have been linked to Valentines Day

Written by Emma Davis

Check Point experts report that the operators of phishing campaigns “celebrated” Valentines Day in a big way. The company’s analysts recorded more than 400 phishing campaigns dedicated to the holiday every week.

At the same time, the number of new domains increased by 29% compared to last year and reached 23,000. About 2.3% of them (523) turned out to be malicious or suspicious.

Phishing to Valentines Day

Domain growth

Traditionally, February is the month of shopping for Valentine’s Day, and in the current pandemic environment, online shopping is on the rise and new forms of fraud are emerging.

Today’s phishing attacks can be extremely targeted. They are usually well planned and backed by a huge amount of research. To ensure they are successful, attackers spend a lot of time studying their prey. Phishing attacks leverage different attack vectors, but the most common one is Check Point researchers.

However, experts also write that this year some attackers have been quite careless and have begun to reuse themes and web pages left over from past phishing campaigns.

For example, researchers discovered an email allegedly originating from the Pandora brand. This was similar to the Black Friday phishing campaign in November 2020.

Let me remind you that Ahead of Black Friday, the number of phishing attacks doubled.

In this message, the user was asked to buy jewelry at unreasonably low prices on the fake Pandora website (www[.]pcharms[.]com). In the text of the scammers, the year was not even changed – “The official site of Pandora 2020” instead of 2021, and the address of the company was written in lowercase letters – “northern lakes lane, laurel, md, 20723”.

That is, the message contained clear signs that the letter came from a dubious source, and the site was fake. The sender used the brand name, but the email address itself clearly had nothing to do with Pandora.

Also remind you that Attackers actively exploit the theme of coronavirus in phishing emails.

How to avoid falling victim to these fraudulent attempts? Check Point Recommendations:

  • Make sure you are ordering online from a genuine source. One way to do this is to NOT click on sponsored links in emails, but instead search Google for the desired seller and click on the link on the Google results page.
  • Never share your credentials.
  • Always be suspicious of password reset emails.
  • Beware of “special” offers. An 80% discount on a new iPhone or jewellery is usually not a reliable or trustworthy purchase opportunity.
  • Beware of similar domains, misspellings in emails or websites, and unfamiliar email senders.
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About the author

Emma Davis

I'm writer and content manager (a short time ago completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the Gustavus Adolphus College). For now, I have a deep drive to study cyber security.

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