Cybercriminals now increasingly targeting online shopping platforms that operate through e-payment systems, researchers now warn.
Recent research conducted by Kaspersky, a global cyber security and digital company, shows an increase of 208 percent in online payment fraud amid Black Friday and Christmas season.
“We always witness intensified scamming activity amid the Black Friday season. Perhaps a bit more unexpected is the attention being paid to e-payment systems. This time, we discovered a huge increase by 208percent in a number of attacks mimicking the most popular payment systems,” says Tatyana Shcherbakova, a security expert at Kaspersky.
“Of course, every new payment application is seen by scammers as a new opportunity to potentially exploit users.”
Online shopping platforms such as Alibaba, Amazon, Jumia, Walmart, eBay and Mercado are now the most targeted platforms by online fraudsters.
“e-payment systems such as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and American Express have been victims of this online fraud,” said Mr Shcherbakova.
Online shopping became popular when the lockdown was introduced in various parts of the world last year as a way of curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Cybercriminals took advantage of the increase in online traffic to strike more.
Fraudsters, the survey says, are now using phishing methods to monitor clients who order various commodities online. They look for fake websites to phish for users’ credentials before making their advances. They have techniques that create fake websites offering great deals for popular shopping portals in various languages.
“The scammers can also create fake login pages. If users attempt to sign in to their account, the scammers gain their login information, giving access not only to the victims’ accounts but to all financial information stored there. These pages might look almost identical to the real platforms’ login pages, with only the misspelled URL giving away the fake,” said Shcherbakova.
“So, in order to protect your data and finances it will be a safe practice to make sure the online payment page is secure: you’ll know it is if the web page’s URL begins with HTTPS instead of the usual HTTP and an icon of a lock will also typically appear beside the URL’, added Tatyana.