Today could be the most fraudulent day of the year, according to cybersecurity startup SEON.
Shortly after Black Friday comes Cyber Monday – the day when retailers encourage consumers to shop online instead of in-store. Since its inception, Cyber Monday has become as important to the retail industry as its predecessor, and one that cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of just as much – perhaps even more so.
Fraud attempts on Cyber Monday far exceed fraud attempts on a “regular” Monday, but this year we could be looking at a record breaker. In its latest report, SEON predicted a 100% increase in cyber Monday fraud attempts, making it a much bigger threat than Black Friday, for which the company expected a 57% increase.
Bot programs and fake profiles
The company bases these claims on its own data. Apparently it processed 26% more transactions on Black Friday, compared to a “normal” Friday, and saw a 57% increase in declined transactions.
In contrast, it processed about 19.5% more transactions on Cyber Monday than on a “regular” Monday, but noted a 100.3% increase in dropped transaction rates. Bot programs and fake profiles, says SEON, are the most popular weapons in any cybercriminal’s arsenal this holiday season.
In addition to proprietary data, SEON also bases these assumptions on “increasing economic pressures,” forcing more people to turn to online fraud.
Cybercriminals always try to take advantage of important events and steal people’s identities (opens in new tab) data, payment information and ultimately – money. The Olympic Games, World Cups and the Covid-19 pandemic are just a few examples of global events that fraudsters are taking advantage of.
Typically, they set up fake landing pages and send phishing emails related to these events. These would provide victims with fake login forms to extract sensitive data or trick them into downloading malicious software.
As usual, people are advised to be extra careful when receiving emails, especially those that contain hyperlinks or attachments.