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Don't Fall For It: Alert Issued For Online Shopping Scams Involving Fake Websites

Shoppers looking for holiday deals online are being warned that thousands of fake websites are popping up every week and stealing money from consumers, according to cybersecurity experts.
Shoppers looking for holiday deals online are being warned that thousands of fake websites are popping up every week and stealing money from consumers, according to cybersecurity experts. Photo Credit: Photo by pickawood on Unsplash

Shoppers looking for holiday deals online are being warned that thousands of fake websites are popping up every week and stealing money from victims, according to cybersecurity experts.

The surge in these malicious sites has been sparked by the surge in online shopping as well as criminals taking advantage of the demand for products in short supply, the experts say.

Victims often enter the name of the product they want in search engines and then are directed to one or more fake sites.

Other malicious sites use phishing emails promoting discounts on various products.

The number of phony shopping sites has jumped to more than 5,300 ones each week since the beginning of October, according to a newly released report by Check Point Research, a cyber threat intelligence provider.

"The global impact of these websites has peaked since the beginning of November," the report said.

Check Point Research said it discovered a number of phishing emails containing subject lines such as:

  • “Fashion MK Handbags 85% Off Shop Online Today”
  • “Up to 80% OFF Michael Kors HandBags on Sale, High Fashion, Low Prices”
  • “Shop All Michael Kors Handbags, Purses & Wallets Up To 70%”

"The links contained in the emails directed people to websites with prices too good to be true, meaning that any buyers would receive either fraudulent products or no product at all," the report said. "The linked websites all had similar domain names with the same IP address range of 104.21.xxx.xxx. 

"Though the sites are no longer available, some were active during the second half of October, while others were still in business up to the second week of November."

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