Fraudsters use fake e-gift cards to get customer’s personal data: Kaspersky

credit card 26Users must not share sensitive data, such as logins and passwords, bank card data etc with a third party. (Image source: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr)Cybercriminals are creating fake websites for the free generation of gift cards to sell users’ data to third-party partner sites, to which they redirect victims, said Kaspersky Lab experts

While industry and law enforcement agencies from around the world are busy fighting against cybercrime, criminals themselves are constantly looking for new ways of earning money – other than just malware.

Offering something valuable free of charge is always an enticing piece of marketing, and criminals can take advantage of this. Some legitimate apps like Tokenfire and Swagbucks buy card codes from well known vendors, to then give them to clients as a reward for certain activities. Criminals have apparently recognised the popularity of such websites and have decided to deceive users using a simple algorithm.

When on the fake site, the user is asked to select the gift card he/she wants in order to receive the code. After that, the fraudulent mechanism is set in motion. To get the generated code, however, the user needs to prove that he/she is not a robot. To do this, the user has to follow the suggested link and complete various tasks, the number and type of which are determined by the partner network to which the user is redirected. For example, the user may be asked to fill in a form, leave a phone number or email address, subscribe to a paid SMS-message, install adware and so on.

“The success of these new fraud schemes is based on criminals exploiting the drive of users to get something for free. However, at best they will spend hours of personal time doing worthless tasks, and at worst - lose money without receiving anything in return. So, if you want to get your hands on a free gift card, try to earn it on legal and trustworthy sites,” said Lyubov Nikolenko, web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

To avoid falling for cybercriminals’ fraudulent schemes and losing personal data, Kaspersky Lab researchers suggest that users follow a few simple rules:

· Check the HTTPS connection and domain name when you open a webpage. This is especially important when you are using websites which contain sensitive data – such as sites for online banking, online shops, email, social media sites etc.

· Never share your sensitive data, such as logins and passwords, bank card data etc, with a third party. Official companies will never ask for data like this via email.

· Do not spread questionable links among your friends.

· Check with the company if it really is giving out gift codes, and whether the site is its official partner. To do this, contact the official support service by reaching out on the official website of the company.

· Use a reliable security solution with behaviour-based anti-phishing technologies to detect and block spam and phishing attacks, such as Kaspersky Total Security, which blocks fake gift card sites.

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