Phishing scams, fake domains top online shopping-related cyber threats as we close in one of the biggest retail days of the year.
The findings, by global cybersecurity and digital privacy company Kaspersky, highlight the more than 13 million online shopping-related phishing attacks that have occurred this year alone, with scammers mimicking popular marketplaces, luxury brands and gadget stores.
In the first ten months of 2023, Kaspersky identified 30,803,840 total phishing attacks targeting online shopping, payment systems and banking institutions, with e-commerce platforms used as a lure in 43.5 percent of the attacks (13,390,142 attacks).
With the holidays approaching, the digital security company found that attacks mimicking Amazon have more than doubled in the second half of the year, averaging 751,451 per month, up from 294,773 in first half of year.
Since October, there has been a threefold increase in domains using the words “Black Friday.” Websites in these domains range from nonexistent stores to convincing replicas of real online outlets.
Further, Kaspersky has identified numerous fake stores offering clothing, appliances, and gadgets since the beginning of fall. The most prevalent schemes center on creating fraudulent stores where individuals pay for products or gift cards they never receive.
The research revealed that fraudsters often targeted potential victims with phishing attacks that imitated major e-commerce platforms including Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Alibaba and Mercado Libre. Attacks also often used luxury brands as a lure, the security firm noted.
Scammers frequently targeted tech enthusiasts by mimicking Apple products and services around Black Friday. Kaspersky products have detected 2.8 million such phishing attacks from January to October 2023.
Additionally, gamers have been ensnared by console scams, the company said, expecting a deal but instead becoming a victim of data theft.
“Online shopping, particularly during peak events like Black Friday, is a prime target for deceptive schemes,” said Olga Svistunova, security expert at Kaspersky. “Fraudsters intensify their activities, capitalizing on the surge in online traffic and shoppers’ desire for deals. It’s crucial to be discerning and adopt secure online practices, protecting yourself against potential threats while enjoying the benefits of the digital marketplace.”