Scammers using kitchenware brands to lure victims
They set up fake Facebook pages of familiar brands, push out fake advertising and promise freebies if users provide personal details
Kitchenware brands are being used by scammers to lure victims, in a new wave of scams recently discovered here.
Uncovered by cyber security company Group-IB, the scams, dubbed Lotsy scams, use famous brands and target users in Singapore, New Zealand and Indonesia, among other countries.
The scammers leverage on a freebie strategy, setting up fake Facebook pages of familiar brands and pushing out fake advertising campaigns.
Users who click on the campaigns are directed to a fraudulent site, disguised as a survey promising freebies for providing their personal details.
Group-IB found that scammers used more than 90 different brands, including Ikea, Golden Village and KFC. It identified close to 250 fake pages using these brands, and 101 fake advertising campaigns.
Researchers found 150 non-official Facebook brand pages for kitchenware company KitchenAid. One of the fraudulent sites observed by Group-IB since 2018 has received more than 31 million visits.
Mr Ilia Rozhnov, head of Group-IB’s digital risk protection team in the Asia-Pacific region, said scammers have been getting more sophisticated.
"Many more online shoppers look to social media instead of Google before making a purchase," he said. "Promoting fraudulent ads on Facebook leaves users almost unable to check if it belongs to the official page before clicking on it and starting a fraudulent journey."
In a speech at the 14th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime last Thursday, Minister of Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said the pandemic has brought about a growth in cybercrime.
He said: "Governments... around the world have focused on responses to Covid-19 to protect public health, promote economic recovery, and criminals are of course seeking to exploit this situation."
Consumers are advised not to click on unsolicited links, and to always verify the authenticity of information with the official brand website and sources.
For more information on scams, visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.