Massive online scam exposed involving fake designer shops; over 8 Lakh victims

Massive online scam exposed involving fake designer shops; over 8 Lakh victims

A screenshot of a counterfeit website designed to look like a legitimate luxury brand shop.

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A significant scam involving over 800,000 victims has been uncovered, where scammers created 76,000 counterfeit websites that mimicked luxury brand shops to steal personal and payment information, according to a report by The Guardian. The scam, originating from Fujian province in China, was masterminded by a network using sophisticated techniques to dupe people.

Security Research Labs (SR Labs), a cybersecurity consultancy from Germany, discovered this network and shared insights with The Guardian. The fake websites offered seemingly irresistible deals on brands like Dior, Nike, and Prada since their inception in 2015. Despite appearing in multiple languages, including English, French, and Spanish, these websites had no actual affiliation with the brands advertised.

“People must be cautious, as online frauds are rapidly on the rise, with scammers inventing new tools and methods to dupe people,” said a representative from SR Labs.

The scam targeted primarily customers in the US and Europe. Unsuspecting shoppers were lured into providing their credit card details, security numbers, and other personal information, hoping to snag a good deal. Unfortunately, many did not receive the items they paid for. The criminal group behind these sites managed to siphon off approximately €50 million.

Authorities continue to investigate the full extent of this cybercrime and work towards safeguarding potential future victims.