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The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warns of scammers using well known brands to set up fraudulent websites
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have issued a warning after scammers have been found to be using the brands of major global airlines to lure users to fake websites. Users are then being encouraged to share the links to the site with friends, in a bid to increase traffic to their fake sites, and gain more money from potential victims.
When a user clicks through to the sites they are prompted to answer a few simple questions and provide personal information to get free flights. Once they give away their name, email, phone, date of birth and address they are then told they will receive the flights, BUT only once they ‘like’ and share the page on Facebook, spreading the fake sites to new victims.
95 Fake Websites Found So Far
According to threat researchers, cyber criminals were observed registering 95 fake websites in late March using the brands of 19 major airlines, including ones based in the UK.
The personal details provided by the victims are used for fraudulent marketing purposes, namely to drive traffic to websites that provide online promotions and monetisation of web and mobile applications. Fraudsters often promote an effective freebie strategy (gifts, prize draws etc.) to attract public attention to the sites.
In the run up to the summer holidays, this cyber-enabled fraud may lead to lost custom and reputational damage for the airlines. The use of social media to distribute fake websites is likely to continue to increase. It is not limited to airlines and could affect any well-known brand.
There also remains a risk that malicious actors could modify the scheme and use such sites to distribute malware to victims, on a large scale.
If you would like support as a result of becoming a victim of any crime, contact Victim Support on 01926 682 693.