how does everything work
A new fraud scheme has appeared in Russian online markets, based on creating an apparently legitimate store on the official site and then transferring customers to a fake resource under the guise of changing the company for delivery, said Vladimir Ulyanov, head of the analytical center. Security company Zecurion told Gazeta.ru.
“Marketplaces in Russia are an ideal platform for promotion with a large audience trying to find the best price for a product. Scammers are offering products at a discounted price, so they appear in the top search results and are highly quoted among other stores within a few days,” he said.
First, in a legitimate market with trusted sellers, scammers open their own stores with lower-priced goods to attract victims.
The buyer selects the item in the shopping cart and arranges the delivery. After paying for the order, the store cancels it after a while and returns the money. According to Ulyanov, this is how criminals gain the user’s trust.
After that, store owners communicate with the customer via private messages on the marketplace. The scammer writes about the availability of goods in another warehouse and offers to order via Yandex delivery, providing a link to a third-party site for this.
“The site looks like the checkout page using Yandex, but it has nothing to do with it and was created recently. For persuasion, the page includes a card of the ordered goods and the price indicated in the market,” Ulyanov added.
When visiting a fake site, the victim specifies his personal data, including address, card details for paying for goods and delivery service.
How does it look
An information security expert provided socialbites.ca with screenshots with an example of one of these stores cheating the Russians.
Zecurion press office
The picture shows correspondence imitating a real store. The TELEKOM seller apologizes for the cancellation of the order and offers to deliver the same product at the same price in 1-2 days, but no delivery from Ozon. In this example, the scammer offers to continue the conversation on WhatsApp messenger.
Zecurion press service
In the continuation of correspondence already through the messenger, in order to increase confidence, the criminal asks first to wait for the refund of the canceled order from Ozon, and only then follow the fake link to order via delivery from the so-called “Yandex”. .
A source familiar with the situation told socialbites.ca that in May such scammers flocked to the marketplace.
“These are now isolated cases that are regularly handled by internal tools,” the source said.
According to the source, customers are advised to contact the seller and always only pay within the site to avoid such problems.
“Recently, we noticed that control on some sites has weakened in terms of blocking scammers,” Elena Gokanova, head of the DiHouse e-commerce department (part of the Lanit group), told socialbites.ca. According to him, this is due to the large number of new sellers, as well as the desire of marketplaces to build an audience and increase market share.
Ivan Samoylenko, managing partner of B&C Agency, expressed another point of view to socialbites.ca. He realized that the scammers’ action was due to people’s quest to save money due to rising prices.
“The Russians are ready to find a cheaper alternative – from an unknown small seller to a large buyer. It is with the promise of low prices that scammers get the opportunity to steal money from citizens,” he said.
Consequences of ordering from a fake link
Zecurion’s Vladimir Ulyanov noted that as a result of ordering through the posted link, scammers not only delete the money. In addition to the amount received for the “order”, criminals also receive personal data of the customer: surname, first name, patronymic, address of residence, mobile phone and e-mail address.
In connection with the payment “on order”, all information about the bank card (number, expiration date, owner’s name, CVV or three-digit code on the back) is also lost to fraudsters for further theft.
Elena Gokanova from diHouse noted that such plans are currently enabled because some marketplaces enable users to pay sellers directly.
“This has freed the hands of scammers. In general, their activity is growing along with the popularity of this type of shopping,” he said.
According to Ivan Samoylenko of B&C Agency, marketplaces need to respond quickly to customer requests and block fake stores on their official sites.
“Unfortunately, it is impossible to control everyone all the time, and markets that are now coping with high demand do not always have time for everything, especially in the area of protecting the interests of customers,” said the expert.
what to mix
According to Zecurion’s Vladimir Ulyanov, the first reason to doubt the seller’s sincere intentions in the market should be an offer to place an order outside of the standard features of the site.
Scammers are actively trying to turn communication into personal messages, especially off-site third-party messengers or social networks, he added.
“The most compelling reason to think about the reality of the store and the availability of products inside is obviously the ultra-fast response to a placed order, including outside of business hours,” the information security expert said.
In addition, the buyer should be warned about the abnormally low price of the goods. However, there are also scammers who try not to make the price difference too big in order to maintain the image of a real store and try to maintain the difference.
DiHouse’s Elena Gokanova thought that she should not worry about an order and personal information only when all transactions related to payment and entering personal data are closed in the marketplace system and in the buyer’s personal account.
In order not to “fall” into this scheme, Ulyanov made three recommendations when buying on marketplaces: do not pay for goods outside the site, do not follow links from personal messages to external sources, and refuse the order if the seller begins to communicate with the seller. After placing the buyer.
Later, Ozon’s press service told socialbites.ca that the market has recently registered an increase in the number of attempts by unscrupulous sellers to use online platforms for their own selfish purposes.
“Over the last four weeks, we have strengthened measures that include, among other things, increased verification of sellers at the registration stage, automatic algorithms and manual monitoring of all seller actions, blocking goods at abnormally low prices. additional verification,” said the market representative.
The company added that it is collaborating with customers and law enforcement to ensure that sellers who attempt or engage in fraudulent acts against buyers are punished.