Scammers everywhere are trying to take advantage of the return of travel to rid people of their hard-earned money, a new report suggests.
Kaspersky investigators have uncovered a number of elaborate schemes in which fraudsters impersonate ticket collectors, airlines, rental services, lodging and lotteries while trying to trick people into giving away money and sensitive data.
The cybersecurity firm said it had found “numerous fake websites” that claim to offer users the opportunity to buy cheaper airline tickets. Usually, these sites are “well-crafted” phishing pages, posing as famous airlines and airline ticket aggregators. To make the sites even more credible, the fraudsters sometimes show the details of real flights, taken from legitimate data sources.
If users try to buy tickets using these services, not only have they lost their money, but they have also given away sensitive data to the fraudsters, which can later be sold on the black market or used for identity theft. (opens in new tab).
Increase authenticity with fake reviews
The second example is even more sinister. According to Kaspersky, scammers are offering a luxury two-bedroom apartment close to the center of a European capital for as little as €500 a month, and a four-bedroom house with a pool and fireplace for €1,000 a month.
To make the offer believable, the offer contains multiple fake reviews, praising the accommodation and describing the hosts as hospitable and friendly people.
As in the previous example, if someone pays for the service, they will lose both their money and give away sensitive information.
For Kaspersky security expert Mikhail Sytnik, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. “We urge users to be skeptical of overly generous offers,” he said.
Fraudsters have always used current events to scam people, and post-lockdown summer vacations are no different. They used the same tactics during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Olympics and the World Cup. In addition to tricking people into giving away money and data, they often use these events to proliferate ransomware, infostealers, and other forms of malware.
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