60% of e-shop phishing scams exploit Apple's brand name

Edward G. | April 12, 2023

Due to its ease of access and efficacy, phishing remains one of the most common types of cybercrime. By purchasing pre-made phishing kits, fraudsters may easily start phishing operations with very little technical knowledge.

The traditional phishing setup is to first construct a website, then craft emails or alerts that seem like they are from legitimate businesses and ask recipients to click a link to the site, divulge personal or financial information, or download malware.

As long as the business has a sizable user base, phishers will imitate any sort of company, including banks, government agencies, retail, and the entertainment industry.

However, data presented by Atlas VPN reveals that e-shop brands were the most often utilized lure by phishers in 2022. E-shop phishing scams accounted for 42% of financial phishing cases in 2022. 

Companies in the banking and payment system industries were also imitated, but they comprised only around 10% of all financial phishing occurrences each.

The data comes as a courtesy of Kaspersky and is extracted from the devices of Kaspersky security product users. Users voluntarily made the data available, and the data was anonymized. 

Globally, the popularity of online shopping is increasing, and as a result, more companies are being imitated by phishers.

Yet one brand is imitated much more often than any other. With approximately 60% of e-shop financial phishing threats in 2022, Apple continues to be the brand that fraudsters most frequently impersonate.

Particularly with the rising prices, the appeal of winning the most recent model of a new iPhone or iMac has proven to be alluring to many consumers. 

In addition, con artists frequently utilize Apple to entice victims by, for example, offering recently introduced iPhones as rewards for predicting game results during significant events like the FIFA World Cup.

Another brand that is favored by cybercriminals is Amazon. Amazon, with 15%, stayed in second position as the most imitated brand in e-shop phishing sites and emails. Together with Apple, these two brands appear in around 75 out of 100 phishing attacks.

While Mercari, MercadoLibre, and eBay brands are also used in phishing scams, they only appear in around 6 out of 100 cases. 

Watch out for emails from PayPal

Although the vast majority of financial phishing scams imitate e-shop brands (42%), payment systems (10%) are also used as a lure by phishing artists.

Just like with e-shopping scams, one company is imitated much more often than others. 

In the world of electronic payment methods, PayPal has long been a favorite target for con artists. The vast majority (84.23%) of phishing URLs for electronic payment systems target PayPal.

As a result, the shares of other payment systems have fallen precipitously, with American Express falling to 2.02% in 2022, Visa decreasing to 3.10%, and MasterCard declining to 3.75%.

In short, if consumers become more vigilant when dealing with Apple, Amazon, and PayPal, they will avoid a great bulk of phishing attacks.

Edward G.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.



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