Sophisticated scam detected

Sophisticated scam detected

At the end of 2021, Group-IB uncovered a worldwide scam campaign that is targeting users in over 90 countries – including the UAE, Oman and Qatar.

Deploying the tried and tested techniques of fake surveys and giveaways purporting to be from big name companies, the fraudsters are attempting to steal users’ personal and payment data. According to Group-IB over 120 big name companies are being impersonated in the global scam.

Group-IB analysts have detected at least 60 different scam networks that operate targeted links. On average, each of them contains over 70 domain names. One of the largest networks in terms of traffic attracted contained over 50 domain names. Judging from the number of visitors, scammers’ potential victim pool on this network alone totals 10 million people. Group-IB experts estimate the damage at $80 million per month, based on the number of sites detected, their minimum conversion, and an average money loss on a scam website.

The new wave of the scam is particularly persistent thanks to an innovation in the scammers’ toolset — targeted links, which makes investigating and tackling such attacks increasingly challenging.

Ashraf Koheil, Director of Business Development, Middle East & Africa at Group-IB, commented: “Just a couple of years ago, online scams were focused on scale: by indiscriminately targeting users, fraudsters tried to ensure that at least someone would take the bite.

“Over time, as scam awareness was growing, fewer and fewer people fell prey to such scheme, which made it much more difficult for cybercriminals to make money. They started to explore new ways that would meet their financial ambitions. This triggered the scamdemic and the diversity of various fraudulent schemes that we observe today.”