Beware of Valentine’s Day-themed phishing scams online, you could be a target

It’s Valentine’s week and people are flocking the internet looking for gifts for their loved ones for Valentine’s Day. However, researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point Research have observed a significant surge in the number of malicious phishing mail campaigns related to gifting that are being used to target users.

The report says that over 400 Valentine’s Day-themed phishing mails were spotted every week since the second half of January.

Rise in malicious Valentine’s Day domains

In addition, throughout January, Check Point Research observed a spike in the number of new Valentine’s Day-themed domains registered. Out of the 23,000 new domains, 0.5 percent (115) were found to be malicious, and 1.8 percent (414) were found to be suspicious.

Overall, there was a 29 percent increase in such domains registered in January, in time for the Valentine’s Day season.

Most of these phishing emails are focused on targeting potential buyers and in many of the cases have reused themes and webpages from past phishing attempts. For context, Check Point researchers found that an email that was being used to during the Black Friday campaigns back in November 2020 is being used to dupe users on Valentine’s week.

You need to be more vigilant

The objective of the phishing email is to tempt customers into buying jewellery items on a fake Pandora platform that looks similar to the original and then offering them cheap prices for the same listed products.

“Phishing attacks leverage different attack vectors, but the most common one is email. Other common attack vectors are phishing sites and text messages usually aimed at stealing credentials to perform account takeovers,” Check Point Research said.

Several users have been victims of phishing attacks in the past and it has led to the loss of data, theft, fraud and more.

Since most of us are not cyber-savvy and are not aware of the know-how of the internet, it is extremely important for users to be vigilant and aware of how these attacks can target them.

Therefore, when you are shopping for gifts online, always authenticate the platform you are shopping on and be vigilant about discount coupons and gift certificates that you receive on emails and WhatsApp. Avoid then as much as possible.

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