The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned on Wednesday that fraudsters promising deals and hard-to-find presents could cost online customers more than $53 million this holiday season.
“Over 17,000 complaints about non-delivery of goods were received by the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) during the 2020 holiday shopping season, resulting in losses of over $53 million,” the federal law enforcement agency said in a public service announcement issued through the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
In addition to financial losses, scammers’ victims face identity theft and fraudulent card charges if their personal or financial information is obtained via web skimmers or phishing attempts.
Scammers utilise a variety of strategies to lure internet buyers around the holidays, including bargains that appear too good to be true:
Hot-ticket or hard-to-find commodities, such as event tickets or gaming systems, are advertised in emails
Untrustworthy websites and advertisements that advertise exaggerated discounts and bargains.
Offers vouchers, gift cards, freebies, and contests in social media postings that look to have been published by a known friend.
Advertisements for non-existent or counterfeit goods were posted on social media.
In order to steal the victims’ user passwords, financial data, and other types of personally identifiable information, the attackers inject malware or login forms into their phishing pages (PII).
The top five brands by appearance in brand phishing assaults, according to Check Point’s Brand Phishing Report for Q2 2021, are Microsoft (45 percent of all attempts globally), DHL (26 percent), Amazon (11 percent), BestBuy (4 percent), and Google (3 percent ).
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported in February that the total number of identity theft reports received in 2020 doubled from the previous year, with 1.4 million reports received in a single year.