Top 10 brands being impersonated by crooks in email phishing scams – and how to spot them

Top 10 brands being impersonated by crooks in email phishing scams – and how to spot them

March 17, 2021 Off By administrator

HSBC recently revealed that many of its customers were tricked into handing over £18million to fraudsters posing as legitimate providers in 2020.

A total of £18,090,154 worth of losses were reported to HSBC UK by its customers due to investment scams over the last 12 months.

These scammers recreated well-known brand logos and legitimate looking websites to dupe customers into believing their business investment and opportunities were real. But they were 100 per cent fraudulent.

But it’s not just bank customers who should be on the look out for deception online, analysts at Dojo, a payments provider under the Paymentsense brand, have identified the top 10 brands most used in phishing email attacks by fraudsters, to scam people across the UK.

Scammers have targeted online shoppers during lockdown

The data looked at the number of Google searches for well-known brands and scams. For example ‘PayPal scam’ and found that the percentage increase year-on-year was much higher.

With more people relying on online technologies, there’s been a unique opportunity for scammers to impersonate brands and target those who have had to rely on email to connect with companies.

Brands most likely to be impersonated in phishing emails

The top 10 most-searched for brand scams on Google identified by Dojo are:

  1. PayPal

  2. Amazon

  3. DPD

  4. DVLA

  5. Apple

  6. Royal Mail

  7. Halifax

  8. Virgin Media

  9. Gov.uk

  10. Boots

PayPal is impersonated the most in phishing email scams

Google search data reveals that PayPal is the most commonly impersonated brand by scammers, with a total of 65,470 people searching for ‘PayPal email scam’ – a whopping 81 per cent increase on last year.

PayPal may top the list due to the nature of their service, handling customers’ transactions, so it may seem reasonable to ask for your details.

Amazon in second place and DPD following close behind

In second place is the online retail store Amazon, with a yearly search volume of 42,120. There’s been a huge increase in shoppers turning to Amazon for their daily goods during lockdowns over the last 12 months, which makes the world’s largest online marketplace an easy target for scammers.

Another company falling victim to fraudsters due to the increased demand for deliveries due to coronavirus restrictions has been DPD.

There have been 32,970 Google searches for ‘DPD email scam’ during 2020 – a massive search increase of 149,083 per cent, with many cyber criminals trying to impersonate the company to retrieve the details of unsuspecting customers.

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, received 5,478 reports of suspicious DPD emails in November 2020, a massive 655 per cent increase compared to the previous month.

During December 2020, when consumers were mainly purchasing Christmas gifts for their loved ones online, DPD fraud spiked with victims recording a…

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