As we know, cybercriminals are fertile in ideas! Creating fake profiles is common, but there are those who go further. The appropriation of the name and photos of the richest and most famous has become a favorite strategy of criminals looking to cheat and get rich at the expense of online users.
Today we present some of the most common ways that scammers resort to posing as celebrities, melting hearts and, above all, users’ bank accounts.
A ESET, a leading cybersecurity company, recently warned of fraudulent schemes that use celebrity photos to attract victims. But there are other schemes. According to the company, there are some common scenarios that users should be aware of:
Fake cryptocurrency offers
Fake cryptocurrency offers have become commonplace with the popularity of this digital asset and usually happen on YouTube channels or Twitter accounts with a large base of followers kidnapped by malicious agents.
The scheme often involves soliciting digital money for a bitcoin address, with the promise that the amount will be doubled as part of the campaign. However, as you would expect, users who fall into the trap do not see their cryptocurrencies again. To give the scheme more legitimacy, malicious agents also often take on the role of great figures in the world of technology, such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates or Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Misleading videos and photos on Facebook or Instagram
Some celebrities take advantage of platforms like Facebook or Instagram to get in direct contact with their fans, an activity shared also by scammers who resort to live broadcasts on social networks to deceive users. To do this, malicious agents create fake accounts that match the actual pages of celebrities, including publications, photos and videos. However, the name will be misspelled or supplemented with words like “TV”, “fan page”, or others.
In live videos, scammers try to entice users with descriptions like “the first 1000 to comment receive 1000 euros”. Then, users who interact with the video receive instructions on how to receive that amount, which include sending sensitive personal information or even money from their accounts. In addition to losing your money, these users’ data can be used again for other malicious scams.
False appeals to support solidarity causes
Another common tactic involves creating fake accounts that impersonate celebrities and getting in direct contact with fans on all types of digital platforms. Although it is not a sophisticated strategy, the impostor seeks to deceive users by asking them to contribute to solidarity causes that they are supposedly supporting, or even offering them tickets to private concerts that do not exist in exchange for money transfers.
Fraudulent investment orders
Finally, ESET highlights scammers’ attempts to profit from the most inexperienced users by convincing them to use their money on “investments” allegedly supported by celebrities. This type of maneuver is nothing new, involving the false promise of multiplying the investment quickly and easily.
Usually, this technique takes the form of pop-up ads that pass for articles about incredible returns on investment, complemented with bombastic headlines about how a celebrity invested in that company or product and profited a lot from it.
Identifying malicious agents on social media platforms should not be a difficult task. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter use a profile verification system that allows users to distinguish between real celebrities and impostors.
Regarding maneuvers for alleged solidarity or related to investment opportunities, their veracity can also be tested with a quick Google search. If they pass the test, the user also has the possibility to contact the entity directly to find out more about collaboration with a specific celebrity.
Source: Pplware by pplware.sapo.pt.
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