Cybersecurity firm Group-IB has revealed an unsurprising spike in the number of shopping-related scams in the run up to Christmas, but armed with the right information, we can improve our efficiency in spotting scams.
Researchers from the company’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GIB) observed 1,539 phishing websites impersonating postal operators and delivery companies.
CERT-GIB identified 587 fake postal resources in the first 10 days of December, marking a 34% rise compared with the same period last year.
Christmas shopping scams are on the up
Scammers are capitalizing on the Christmas-related chaos by instilling a sense of urgency into their victims with tactics like ‘failed’ delivery notifications.
Various European countries, including Germany, Poland, Spain, and the UK, are being heavily targeted, along with other regions globally, such as Mexico, Turkey, and Singapore.
A variety of campaigns, which Group-IB suspects could be interlinked, impersonate genuine delivery companies operating in each country to add a degree of authenticity.
The report summarizes: “Verifying the authenticity of delivery notifications, refraining from clicking on suspicious links, and cross-checking information with trusted sources are essential steps to safeguard against fake delivery scams.”
The phishing attacks are primarily being used to steal victims’ payment information, highlighting the need to exercise extreme caution and vigilance when sharing card details, especially for failed deliveries, which do not normally require payment for redelivery.
Camill Cebulla, Sales Director for Europe at Group-IB, commented: “The high volume of packages being shipped during the holiday season makes it easier for scammers to hide among legitimate delivery services.”
In fact, the company says that the mere awareness of such scams can sometimes be enough to prevent unsuspecting victims from providing too much information.
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With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!