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Cyber Criminals Defraud Customers Using Search Engine Advertisement Services And Impersonating Brands, Warns FBI



Cyber Criminals Defraud Customers Using Search Engine Advertisement Services And Impersonating Brands, Warns FBI

NEW DELHI: The FBI has warned that cybercriminals are trying to scam people by using search engine advertisement services.

The public service announcement, which came out on December 21, 2022, said that threat actors are buying these ad services to pretend to be genuine brands to get people to visit malicious websites.

These sites, which “look exactly like the official website of the business being impersonated,” try to get people to download malware or give them their login information and financial information.

For example, “when a user is looking for a programme to download, the fake website has a link to download software that is actually malware.”

ALSO READ: People Applying For Remote Tech Jobs Using Deepfakes: FBI Issues Alert

The FBI said that these ads are also being used to impersonate websites that deal with money, especially exchange platforms for cryptocurrencies.

Businesses use search engine advertising services to ensure that their ads appear at the top of search results, making it hard to tell the difference between an ad and a real internet search result.

But the alert said that cybercriminals are also buying these services using domains that look like those of real businesses or services.

The law enforcement agency stressed that search engine ads are not inherently bad, but that users should be careful when going to a website through an ad.

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The FBI came up with a list of things that people should do when looking for a business or service online. These things:

  • Before you click on an ad, check the URL by looking for typos.
  • If you can, type the business’s URL into the address bar of your web browser instead of using a search engine to get to the official site.
  • When you search the Internet, use an add-on that blocks ads.

The agency also told businesses to take precautions, like using domain protection services that let them know when similar domains are registered to stop domain spoofing and teach users how to spot malicious URLs.

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