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Beware: High Quality Fake Investment Phishing Scams in the Wild

Beware: High Quality Fake Investment Phishing Scams in the Wild

Security researchers recently uncovered a large network of fake investment scamming sites targeting specific European countries and North America.

Fake Investment Phishing Sites Targeting European Countries

The network consists of at least 11,000 domains that target the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, and the Czech Republic with specially crafted phishing sites. The scam involves tricking European citizens into transferring funds to the fake investment portal.

To increase the success rate, scammers are using fake “how I got rich” stories featuring celebrities as well as promising huge returns on investments. The discovery and corresponding research comes from Group-IB Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GIB).




A Deeper Look Into the Fake Investment Sites

“In the course of the research, a gigantic network infrastructure was uncovered and analyzed, which contained over 10,000 rogue resources, including similar fraudulent ones aimed at the inhabitants of the entire Eurasian continent and North America,” the report stated.

The scam uses the names of globally or locally famous people. In one example, the name of a local Belgian celebrity was used to increase authenticity.

According to the findings, the rogue investment scheme leverages the name of Gert Tony Hubert Verhulst, a Belgian media entrepreneur, television producer, presenter, actor and singer, popular in the Netherlands for his television role in the show ‘Samson en Gert’.

“In some cases, specially created rogue Facebook pages were being used to spread the fake investment scheme post via the advertisement capabilities on Facebook,” the researchers added.

Scammers Using Multiple Templates

Different templates of high quality covering different topics have been used to increase the efficiency and impact. Scammers used specific color palettes and code that make the investment phishing pages look legitimate and trustworthy.

These are the goals that the phishing operators are trying to accomplish:

  • Make victims register an account;
  • Replenish the balance on their previously made account;
  • Bombard the victims with success stories;
  • Present fictitious stories that profit is being made via the fake broker sites.

Shortly said, the scammers “social engineer the victim into making an investment”.

It is important to note that the fake investment scheme uses both online and offline social engineering techniques. Once the form is filled out, the victim would receive a phone call from the scammers that provide a link to the fake investment project tied to an alleged personal account. Of course, to start trading, the victim is urged to replenish the balance in their account.

The scam also uses a fake account manager to assist the victim “in making the right decisions on their fake investment dashboard,” increasing the chance that the scammers can get more than 250 euros, the report said.




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Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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