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This Halloween Week, Watch Out For ‘Scary’ Phishing E-Mails

NEW DELHI: During the week of Halloween, avid shoppers searching for great deals are in for a terrifying encounter.

Cybersecurity experts have warned consumers to stay alert and thoroughly examine email addresses and URLs while dealing online.

They warned consumers of “branded phishing” emails that could deceive users into divulging sensitive personal information to cybercriminals.

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In ‘branded phishing,’ cybercriminals exploit the names of well-known companies to attract consumers to websites with similar-looking URLs to steal their personal and financial information.

They also host web pages that resemble the pages operated by real businesses to deceive unsuspecting consumers. To capitalise on the high demand for particular brands’ products and services, hackers have created mail IDs that resemble popular brands.

Check Point Research (CPR) has released a paper detailing how hackers defraud internet buyers.

After purchasing costumes and other items this week, CPR has advised the public to double-check all delivery-related emails for suspicious wording.

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The logistics services provider DHL accounts for 22 percent of all reported phishing attempts worldwide.

Microsoft-related phishing emails account for 16% of the total, while LinkedIn-related phishing emails account for 11%.

Cybercriminals also utilise the brand names WeTransfer, Walmart, WhatsApp, HSBC, and Instagram to defraud consumers.

The research said they give selected users links to fake websites via email or text message. The bogus website typically features a form designed to collect user credentials, financial information, and other personal information.

How to avoid harm

“Double-check the shipping email after ordering Halloween costumes and decorations this week,” Check Point’s Data Research Group Manager Omer Dembinsky advised.

Anyone anticipating a delivery must immediately check the official website for updates. “Do not trust e-mails, especially those requesting information,” he advised.

People should be sceptical of emails requesting a password reset. If the mail requires immediate action, you must use greater caution. “You should refrain from disclosing private information. “Check the email for grammatical and spelling mistakes,” the report stated.

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