Today could be the most fraudulent day of the year, according to cybersecurity startup SEON.
Hot on the heels of Black Friday, Cyber Monday is the day that retailers encourage consumers to shop online rather than in-store. Since its inception, Cyber Monday has become as important to the retail industry as its predecessor, and cybercriminals are looking to take advantage of it too, perhaps even more.
Fraud attempts on Cyber Monday far exceed fraud attempts on a "normal" Monday, but this year we could be in for a record. In its latest report, SEON predicted a 100% increase in fraud attempts on Cyber Monday, making it a much bigger threat than Black Friday, where the company forecast a 57% increase.
Bot programs and fake profiles
The company bases these claims on proprietary data. It apparently processed 26% more transactions on Black Friday, compared to a “normal” Friday, and saw a 57% increase in declining transaction fees.
By contrast, it processed about 19,5% more transactions on Cyber Monday than on a "normal" Monday, but saw a 100,3% increase in declining transaction rates. According to SEON, bot programs and fake profiles are the most popular weapons in every cybercriminal's arsenal this holiday season.
In addition to proprietary data, SEON also bases these assumptions on "increasing economic pressures" that are causing more people to turn to online fraud.
Cybercriminals are always trying to take advantage of major events and steal identity data (opens in a new tab), payment information, and ultimately money. The Olympic Games, World Cups, and the Covid-19 pandemic are just a few examples of global events that scammers are taking advantage of.
They mostly create fake landing pages and send phishing emails related to these events. These would present their victims with fake login forms to extract sensitive data or trick them into downloading malware.
As usual, users are advised to be very careful when receiving emails, especially those that contain hyperlinks or attachments.