Posted on August 2, 2022 at 9:20 AM

Security researchers have discovered an enormous network of over 11,000 domains used to promote different bogus investment schemes to target users across Europe. 

According to the report, the fake platforms show fictitious evidence of celebrity documents and make the targets believe that the scheme is a legitimate one. The campaign has been used to lure several victims and steal their credentials.

The scheme aims to deceive users into believing they have an opportunity to earn high profits from their investments. They use several persuasive methods to convince the targets to deposit a minimum of 250 EUR to enjoy the profit privileges.

The researchers at cybersecurity firm Group-IB who discovered the operation stated that over 5,000 of the identified malicious domains are still active. The researchers mapped the massive network of phishing sites, redirections, and content hosts.

The attackers are targeting users in several countries. These include Norway, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the UK, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Portugal.

The scammers are placing so much effort to promote their fake campaigns on various social media platforms. They are also using compromised YouTube and Facebook accounts to reach as many users as possible.

The Scammers Deceive Their Targets By Promising Huge Profits 

The targeted users who unknowingly fell into the scam and clicks to learn more about the scheme are redirected to a landing page that showed alleged success stories. 

Once they have gotten the attention of the users, they request their contact details. Afterward, a customer agent allegedly representing the company will call the victim, providing the terms and conditions of the investment in a well-structured social engineering scam. The entire process is meticulously monitored and executed by the scammers to make sure the users believe that they are dealing with genuine people.

The victim is eventually convinced to deposit at least 250 EUR while the scammers store the details provided on the fake site for future phishing campaigns.

The Victims Only Discover The Scams During Withdrawals 

After the victim sends the deposit to the website, they are directed to a fake investment dashboard that supposedly enables them to monitor their daily gains. The scammers could have taken the victim’s funds and blocked them completely if they want to get more from them. The victim is kept in a false illusion that they have made investments they are allegedly tracking. The scammers keep them long enough to convince them that they are going to gain more profits by depositing larger amounts.

However, scammers are exposed when the victim tries to withdraw funds from the platform. The researchers say that is when they would realize that they have been scammed because the withdrawal will not be possible.

While investigating the incident, Group-IB got into the position of a target for the scammers and interacted with them. The conversations with the fraudulent operators were also recorded. According to the researchers, the scammers took their time to set up all the protocols and channels they use to convince their victims that the scheme is genuine.

While there are lots of risks associated with investments. As a result, the researchers have warned users to be wary of investment opportunities that promise a lot of gains with little risk. Such schemes have become increasingly popular over the past year in the booming crypto market.

How Users Can Avoid Being Scammed 

Prospective investors have been advised that schemes that promise to provide high yields should be seen as red flags.

Additionally, real investment platforms do not offer personal account managers for small investments. But many of these fake investment firms have such features, which is also a red flag to spot them.

Also, users have been advised to carry out appropriate research about any investment platform before putting their money on the platform. Proper research would include finding out whether the said company is properly registered to carry out the type of business it is advertising. A genuine investment platform will always provide all the information required by the user and prospective investors to verify its authenticity.

While there are different types of investment platforms, settling only with an established and reputable broker should be the priority of users who want to be very cautious.

When an investment platform promotes its operation, it’s necessary to be sure that it is from an established broker. Users have also been advised to look at reviews from several platforms and not to rely only on the reviews provided by the investment platform.

Summary

Over 11,000 Fake Investment Sites Targeting Users Across Europe Discovered

Article Name

Over 11,000 Fake Investment Sites Targeting Users Across Europe Discovered

Description

Security researchers have discovered an enormous network of over 11,000 domains used to promote different bogus investment schemes to target users across Europe. 

Author

Ali Raza

Publisher Name

Koddos

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Posted by Charlie