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BrandShield (LSE: BRSD), an online threat hunting company specialized in monitoring, detecting, and removing online threats, today announced alarming new data on the rise of e-commerce fraud. These findings come as US consumers gear up to participate in another potentially record-breaking year after spending $9 billion online during the 2020 Black Friday shopping event.

“We anticipate cybercriminal activity targeting online shoppers to intensify this year the same way it did last year, and we have already begun seeing an uptick of fraudulent product listings and websites,” said Yoav Keren, co-founder and CEO of BrandShield. “The critical holiday shopping period we are in now calls for even more vigilance by consumers to make sure they are not giving up sensitive personal or financial information to fraudsters looking to capitalize on deal seekers.”

Beware of Fakes: Nike, AirPods, and PlayStations

BrandShield’s analysis looked at the top products across popular consumer categories like apparel, luxury, and electronics leading up to the holiday shopping season.

Through a deep crawling of the Internet and analysis of websites, domain names, and social platforms, BrandShield found that domain registrations related to popular electronic brands and consumer products increased dramatically. From October 2020 to November 2020, PlayStations and Nike were the first and second most targeted brands, with suspicious domain registrations related to them increasing 126.92% and 87.91%, respectively. Suspicious domain registrations for AirPods increased 80.95% over the same period, outpacing iPhones 4 to 1.

BrandShield also found that domain registrations related to luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Rolex, and Fendi increased 78.38%, 117.73%, and 66.67%, respectively. The analysis detected that suspicious domain registrations related to Louis Vuitton increased twice as much as those related to Gucci (39.20%).

Fraudsters impersonating Target, eBay, and Costco

The report also looked at suspicious domain registrations across popular e-commerce sites and found that online stores for big-box retailers and online marketplaces were popular targets for cybercriminals. 

Through the analysis, BrandShield found that suspicious domain registrations related to online retailers increased immensely from October 2020 to November 2020. Target, BestBuy, and Costco saw domain registrations increase by 137.66%, 88.81%, and 140.54%, respectively. Target outpaced Walmart (2.52%) in suspicious domain registrations a whopping 54.6 to 1, while eBay (155.27%) outpaced Amazon (16.47%) nearly 10 to 1. 

How can Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers spot fraud?

To help consumers combat the mounting threat of seasonal shopping fraud, BrandShield recommends five tips for avoiding scams.

  1. If the website URL contains typos, such as “targett.com” or “eBaay.com” – it’s a scam.
  2. If the website has spelling or grammatical errors throughout – it is likely a scam. Legitimate sellers will put resources behind ensuring that the website is free of errors such as these.
  3. If you receive a text or a private message through social media offering a deal for a product that seems too good to be true – it’s likely a scam. Don’t click the links in suspicious emails, texts, or social media messages.
  4. If a website or company has many negative reviews – it may be a scam. Also, look for fake positive reviews trying to balance out real warnings from victims of the scam, and err on the side of caution when purchasing from unknown sellers.
  5. If a website does not have a padlock image to the left of its URL – it is likely a scam. That being said, many phishing websites now have padlocks next to the left of their URLs, so this doesn’t necessarily indicate that a website is safe.

To learn more about BrandShield’s online brand protection and executive impersonation threat hunting capabilities, visit BrandShield.com.

About BrandShield

BrandShield is a leading cybersecurity company founded in Israel by cybersecurity experts that protects the world’s largest brands and consumers from phishing attacks, online fraud, and other online threats posed by dangerous cybercriminals. Through its AI/ML platform, BrandShield identifies, tracks, and eliminates online threats for global brands and organizations, including Bristol Myers Squibb, Levi’s, New Balance, Swisscom, and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute. BrandShield is listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM under ticker symbol BRSD. To learn more about BrandShield, please visit the company website at BrandShield.com.

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Eric Gonzalez
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VSC on behalf of BrandShield
brandshield@vsc.co

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