Beware of fake e-gift cards

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on July 28, 2018 Published on July 28, 2018

Hackers can sell data filled in forms

Think twice before accepting e-gift cards offered online. Some of them could steal your data and sell it to make money. Fake websites entice people with lucrative offers and ask them to initiate a process to receive the code.

Security experts at Internet security firm Kaspersky said cyber criminals are able to sell users’ data to third-party partner sites by redirecting them to fake websites for some bogus tasks.

This sets in motion a process to cleverly collect users’ information. “To get the generated code, the user needs to prove that he or she is not a robot. To do this, the user has to follow the suggested link and complete various tasks,” Lyubov Nikolenko, web content analyst with Kaspersky Lab, says.

The number of tasks and type of questions depends on the partner networks that hackers tie up with. Users may be asked to fill in a form with details of phone numbers and e-mail addresses. They would also be asked to join marketing campaigns.

“Either the victims get tired of doing endless tasks, or they finally get the useless code. The earnings for criminals range from a few cents for every click on a desired link, to several dozen dollars for filling in a form or subscribing to paid services,” he says.

Hackers make money based on users’ actions on the fake websites. “The success of these new fraud schemes is based on criminals exploiting the desire among users to get something for free. “If you want to free gift cards, you should get them on legal and trustworthy sites,” he said.

Cyber security experts warn netizens to be careful while sharing their personal details online. “Never share sensitive data such as logins and passwords, bank card data, phone numbers and email addresses with a third party. Do not spread questionable links among your friends,” Nikolenko said.

Published on July 28, 2018
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