Online payment fraud increases 208% ahead of Black Friday

Online payment fraud increased 208% between September and October 2021, indicating that scammers are stepping up attacks on online shoppers as Black Friday approaches this year.

In a new report, cybersecurity provider Kaspersky uncovered 1,935,905 financial phishing attacks disguised as electronic payment systems in October 2021. That’s more than double the 627,560 attacks detected the previous month.

Interestingly, researchers saw no seasonal trends for other types of online shopping-related phishing in the first 10 months of 2021. The focus on electronic payment systems is believed to be linked to the introduction of new payment systems in many countries. this year following the switch to online shopping during COVID-19.

The team also detected 221,745 spam emails containing the words “Black Friday” from October 27 to November 19, providing further evidence that scammers are trying to take advantage of the biggest shopping day of the year.

In total, Kaspersky reported seeing 40 million phishing attacks targeting e-commerce and online shopping platforms from January to October 2021.

Among online shopping platforms, Amazon has historically been the most popular phishing lure used by scammers. Next is eBay, followed by Alibaba and Mercado Libre.

Tatyana Shcherbakova, Security Expert at Kaspersky, commented: “We are still seeing an increase in scams in the middle of the Black Friday season. The attention to electronic payment systems is perhaps a little more unexpected. This time around, we found a huge 208% increase in the number of attacks mimicking the most popular payment systems. Of course, every new payment app is seen by crooks as a new opportunity to potentially exploit users.

“So in order to protect your data and your finances, it will be prudent to make sure that the online payment page is secure: you will know that if the URL of the web page starts with HTTPS instead of the usual HTTP and A lock icon will usually also appear next to the URL.

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