Scamming shoppers online: Check Point study reveals cybercriminals are using luxury brands for fraud
- Courier services are targeted by cybercriminals during this Scamming shoppers period
- October 2023 saw a 13 per cent increase in the number of malicious files related to orders and delivery/shipment compared to October 2022
- Check Point Research sees abuse of luxury brands: a wake-up call for shoppers to remain vigilant online
In the run-up to Black Friday, Check Point Research has discovered a disturbing email pattern used by hackers. This deceptive tactic involves mimicking websites and emails from well-known brands such as Louis Vuitton, Rolex and Ray-Ban as bait to entice consumers to click on malicious links.
Amid the excitement of finding the perfect deals, there is a danger that shoppers should be aware of: cybercrime targeting unsuspecting victims. Check Point Research sees that this year, luxury brands and courier services in particular are being used to trap consumers.
Cybercriminals create enticing emails promising hefty discounts on coveted luxury products, cleverly manipulating the email addresses to mimic the authenticity of the brands. Despite the appearance of legitimacy, closer inspection reveals that the e-mail addresses are unrelated to the real companies.
When someone clicks on a link in such an e-mail, the unsuspecting victim is directed to a website carefully designed to mimic the official site of the targeted brand. These fraudulent sites then "sell" luxury products at incredibly low prices to trap potential buyers. However, the real danger lies in the evil intentions behind these sites. At checkout, you are asked to enter data, which can then be easily stolen by cybercriminals.Courier services are not spared either
Last year, mainly courier service names were used for malicious campaigns. In the third quarter of 2022, DHL even ranked first in the list of most frequently imitated brands by cybercriminals, and this trend continues this year as well. In October this year, Check Point researchers already saw a whopping 13 per cent increase in the number of malicious files related to orders and delivery/shipping compared to October 2022.
"Around Black Friday, consumers are more at risk of online scams than usual. Cybercriminals are more likely to succeed around shopping days. Cybercriminals gratefully exploit the sense of urgency felt by consumers at such times. They also often play on the online shopper's emotions. Moreover, the use of generative AI and brand phishing makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish fake from real," responds Zahier Madhar, security engineer expert at Check Point Technologies. "As consumers, therefore, stay truthful. Check whether the webshop has a seal of approval and always shop at authentic retailers. If you come across a webshop Scamming shoppers you do not know, type the domain name into a search engine and check the reviews. Should you still decide to purchase with some suspicion, pay afterwards or a method where you can always ask for a refund."