On International Women’s Day scammers target Russian women

By International Women’s Day, scammers began to deceive Russian women, promising them a smartphone as a gift, Kaspersky Lab told Izvestia. In fact, they are being persuaded to install an application that can lead to the loss of personal data and funds. The largest banks and the Central Bank confirmed: before March 8, telephone and Internet intruders are activated, and gift schemes are the most popular. In addition, money is often swindled from girls through free procedures in beauty salons or under the pretext of buying a ticket for a personal romantic meeting.

Surprise by March 8

In recent days, a scheme has been actively used in which fraudsters, allegedly on behalf of a large marketplace, give users smartphones for International Women’s Day, Olga Svistunova, a content analyst at Kaspersky Lab, told Izvestia. She explained: the message about the gift is contained on separate scam resources, links to which the attackers distribute via instant messengers.

Izvestia studied one of these resources. It, in addition to information about the gift, contains supposedly positive reviews.

  • To receive a gift, you just need to answer a few simple questions. Further, the user is informed that he really is entitled to a smartphone, however, in order to accept the prize, he needs to share a link to the promotion with five groups or 20 friends in instant messengers. As the last step towards the prize, a person is asked to install a certain application on their phone and register in it,” continued Olga Svistunova.

According to her, in this way, attackers can collect user data, as well as redirect them to sites with adult content, subscribe to advertising in the browser (in the form of push notifications), and potentially distribute malware. In addition, a person can be redirected to other sites, in which case the attackers make money on the redirect.

Malicious applications can give fraudsters the ability to remotely control the phone and collect information about keystrokes, Oleg Volkov, head of the cybersecurity department at Zenit Bank, warned. This will compromise PIN codes from bank cards, passwords from personal accounts of online banks, as well as from the State Services service.

In addition, attackers can set up call and SMS forwarding and gain full control over the client’s accounts, Oleg Volkov added. VTB added: the malware can send spam messages to the user’s contacts for subsequent cyberattacks.

Russian women should be critical of extremely generous offers on the Web, emphasized at Kaspersky Lab. You don’t need to click on links from suspicious messages, even if they were sent to you by friends. You should also double-check information about a particular promotion on the official resources of companies.

Rosbank, MTS Bank and Post Bank confirmed to Izvestia: the scenario of fraud with gifts on March 8 is the most common. There is another frequently used scheme: women receive a call from a flower shop or a beauty salon, during the conversation it is reported that the person has won money or a gift, Post Bank said. For example, a free bouquet for the holiday. To get it, you only need to pay for shipping. As a result, a person is left without money and without a gift.

Manipulation of emotions

— Another common scheme is fake online flower shops. The girl receives a message in the messenger with an offer to buy a bouquet with a special discount by March 8. Next, you need to follow the link to a fake site where they ask you to enter card details. Thus, payment information is stolen, – they said in Post Bank.

The Central Bank warned: telephone and Internet scammers are traditionally activated before the holidays, when the demand for the purchase of goods or services increases. During this period, an increase in the number of phishing sites is possible. Therefore, the Bank of Russia recommends making purchases only on proven resources. It is also necessary to pay attention to the presence in the address bar of the browser next to the site name of the secure connection icon (lock).

According to Post Bank, another scenario of deception on the eve of International Women’s Day is associated with beauty salons. Fraudsters lure Russian women there with the promise of a free cosmetic procedure. But then the girl is convinced that a single dose is ineffective or even dangerous, so it is necessary to complete the full course. Further, under the guise of salon services, they often draw up a loan agreement and for a long time “pump out” payment after payment from the victim, Post Bank said.

Also at this time, scams with acquaintances on the Web are common, said Fedor Muzalevsky, director of the RTM Group technical department. He explained: after talking online, the man decides to come to the girl, while the holiday becomes a good occasion. But suddenly he does not have enough money, for example, for flight insurance.

  • He is very uncomfortable, but he asks for a loan from a gullible victim. Then the friend disappears. In terms of protection, everything is simple here – do not send money to strangers, no matter how pleasant they may seem. Unexpected and urgent requests for transfers are a sign of fraud. Internet dating with an unverified person carries a threat in itself, – Fedor Muzalevsky emphasized.

In the month leading up to March 8, in general, the amount of spam by e-mail and instant messengers increased by about 40% compared to ordinary days, Fedor Muzalevsky estimated. He added that the number of calls from phone scammers has increased by about 20% over the past three weeks.

At the same time, women are much more likely than men to become victims of various intruders, including those who specialize in social engineering methods, Post Bank emphasized. They explained: ladies, as a rule, are more vulnerable due to their emotionality and gullibility. Also, scammers skillfully manipulate responsiveness, talkativeness, susceptibility to compliments, gifts and promotions.

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