Today could be the most fraudulent day of the year

Today could be the most fraudulent day of the year, according to the cybersecurity startup SEON. 

Following hot on the heels of Black Friday is Cyber Monday – the day when retailers encourage consumers to shop online, rather than in the store. Since its inception, Cyber Monday has become just as important for the retail industry as its forebear, and one that cybercriminals equally seek to take advantage of – perhaps more so. 

Fraud attempts on Cyber Monday far exceed fraud attempts on a “regular” Monday, but this year we could be looking at a record-breaker. In its latest report, SEON predicted a 100% increase in fraud attempts on Cyber Monday, making it a much bigger threat than Black Friday, for which the company anticipated a 57% increase.

Bot programs and fake profiles

The company bases these claims on proprietary data. Apparently, it processed 26% more transactions on Black Friday, compared to a “normal” Friday, and saw a 57% increase in declined transaction rates. 

In contrast, it processed roughly 19.5% more transactions on Cyber Monday than on a “regular” Monday, but observed a 100.3% increase in declined transaction rates. Bot programs and fake profiles, SEON says, are the most popular weapons in every cybercriminal’s arsenal this holiday season. 

Besides proprietary data, SEON also bases these assumptions on “growing economic pressures” forcing more people to turn to online fraud. 

Cybercriminals always try to take advantage of significant events and steal people’s identity data, payment information, and ultimately – money. The Olympic Games, World Cups, and the Covid-19 pandemic are just some of the examples of global events that fraudsters take advantage of. 

Most of the time, they set up fake landing pages and send out phishing emails connected to these events. These would either present their victims with fake login forms to extract sensitive data or trick them into downloading malicious software. 

As usual, people are advised to be extra careful when receiving emails, especially those with hyperlinks or attachments. 

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