This Valentine's, you might be celebrating with your better half, fiance, beau or gal-pals. Whichever route you choose, don't let e-scammers get to you. Here's how you can protect yourself against fraudsters.
Valentine's season is when retailers offer chocolates, roses, all things heart-shaped and other related merchandise. It is available in stores and websites around the world.
As per a Check Point research, in 2022, email-delivered-attacks reached a record of 86 per cent of all file-based in-the-wild attacks. As per the research, there's been a 54 per cent increase in the number of new Valentine’s Day-related domains, compared to previous months and since the beginning of February, 1 in 1,000 Valentine's Day-related emails are found to be malicious or suspicious.
About 12,441 new domains were registered to contain the terms 'love' or 'valentine' in their names since January and approximately 1 out of 10 of these domains were found to be potentially risky.
These sites often phish for user information by manipulating users to install malicious files, clicking malicious links, or divulging sensitive information. Phishing content can be delivered via any medium, but, emails are most common. Phishing attacks are often combined with malware, code injection, and network attacks.
Scammers also tend to launch 'free' campaigns-- campaigns offering free goods with messaging like 'Your valentines day reward has arrived!'. These are usually sent out from unused domains and/or from multiple users. The domain might have already been used to collect user or payment information.
AI or artificial intelligence can be used as a tool to trick people into giving sensitive information or opening malicious emails. Chatbots can be programmed to send messages that appear to be from a trustworthy source. Domains can be designed to look legitimate. For example, instead of the email address email@example.com, a phishing email may use ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
Chatbots can also be programmed to impersonate potential romantic partners. Or to send automated messages that appear to be from friends or family members.
Phishing emails might also contain suspicious attachments. For example a zip file of an invoice for flowers or a gift sent to your significant other. The attachment most probably could contain malicious content. Many-a-times, phishing emails contain grammatical error or is written in language that sounds wrong. Phishing emails, which, in most cases try to steal money, might demand sensitive information.
So, what to do if you get a phishing email?
Delete any suspicious mail. Also, don’t reply, click links, or open attachments from such emails.