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The Ascent of Gift Card Scams Leads in the Rise of Amount of Money Being Lost


With the rise of phishing attacks, business email compromise (BEC) campaigns and gift scams bring along with it the rise in the amount of money being lost.

Investigation by researchers at Agari, an email security enterprise, published in the cybersecurity organization's most recent 'Quarterly Fraud and Identity Deception' trends report – found that gift card cheats picked up footing especially during the end of 2019, accounting 62% of all BEC attacks, up from 56% during the previous quarter.

These attacks frequently include cybercriminals assuming control over business email accounts and utilizing a 'stolen identity' to email others in the association to demand the acquisition of gift cards. A common tactic is to act like somebody in the management requesting an employee to help them out – in light of the fact that by and large, the employee won't scrutinize a solicitation that is apparently coming from their boss.

The 'run-up' to the holiday season simply presented the criminals with the ideal chance to go ahead with their gift- card attacks, as they could easily do with the solicitation being framed as that for Christmas presents. The normal sum mentioned in gift-card attacks has risen somewhat to $1,627, with the base sum tending to come in at $250. In some progressively ambitious cases, cybercriminals have requested gift cards worth $10,000 to be transferred – by focusing on employees over different departments simultaneously.

Criminals are pulled in to BEC attacks since they end up being fruitful and they're easy to carry out. In any case, associations can go far to forestalling phishing and other email-based attacks from being successful by implementing additional security on accounts, very much like the multi-factor authentication, as well as human-level 'checks- and balances'.

As per, Crane Hassold, senior director of threat research at Agari, "Gift cards have become the preferred method of cashing out for a number of reasons. First, it makes everyone at any company the potential target of a BEC attack, not just the finance and HR departments. We've seen campaigns that have targeted 30-40 employees at a single company at one time in gift-card BEC scams,"

The value of the gift cards mentioned may show up small when considered individually, yet the total costs add up, particularly given how the attacks remain so fruitful and simple to cash out.

The most widely recognized solicitations are for gift cards for Google Play and eBay, very closely followed by Target, iTunes, and Walmart. Best Buy, Amazon, Steam and the Apple Store additionally make for some very well-known requests.

Cyber criminals thrive in India’s IT capital

Cyber criminals seem to be thriving in India’s IT capital; in the last four months alone, Bengalureans lost Rs 32 crore to various online scams. A 39-year-old woman was the biggest victim—a fraudulent suitor who befriended her through a matrimonial website made away with Rs 33 lakh.

The cybercrime police station of the Bengaluru city police has recorded a staggering 3,180 cases in four months since mid-January.

Last year, Sumathi (name changed) from Jayanagar had registered with a well-known marriage portal to find a match. Little did she know that the prince charming who approached her as a UK-based Indian doctor expressing interest to settle down with her in Bengaluru was an online imposter. He got her into parting her hard-earned money through numerous online transfers.

“She was lured by an exciting gift packet the man claimed to have sent from the UK. Then came the false excuse of Indian customs officials seizing the gift for duty. She fell for it and transferred lakhs of rupees, trusting the man who trapped her with sweet words and promise of marriage in a brief period,” said an officer.

Rise in matrimonial fraud

Sumathi is one among the many victims of online imposters who’ve siphoned off Rs 32 crore since February through various techniques—credit card skimming, vishing, phishing, e-wallet scam, online car sales con, Facebook fraud, airline ticketing trickery and an array of other Nigerian scams. Matrimonial frauds topped the charts in the four months with hundreds of women being targeted by crooks, mainly through paid portals and Facebook messenger.

“Every day, we register close to 40 FIRs regarding bank frauds, including phishing, vishing and illegal money withdrawal from accounts through ATMs. People still fall prey to lottery fraud, the oldest trick in the trade,” said an officer. He said the cybercrime wing register nearly 1,000 FIRs a month.