According to recent data from AtlasVPN, Amazon was the most imitated brand in email phishing assaults in 2021. Last year, 17.7% of brand phishing emails impersonated Amazon, 16.5 percent impersonated DHL Global Logistics, and 12.7 percent impersonated DocuSign, an eSign software business. The popular payment gateway provider PayPal was ranked fourth on the list, with its name appearing in 5.7 percent of brand imitation emails, followed by the professional social network LinkedIn, which was mentioned in 3.5 percent of brand phishing efforts. HSBC (1.8 percent) was also included on the list. Hornetsecurity’s Cyber Threat Report 2021/22 analyses the situation of worldwide email threats and includes all of these numbers.
The reason fraudsters choose to imitate these and other well-known businesses is to make potential victims more vulnerable. After being duped into believing one of these phishing emails is legitimate, the victim is enticed to click on links to malicious websites that infect their devices with malware or steal their data. While businesses can do little to prevent fraudsters from mimicking their brands online, consumers can protect themselves by knowing about and remembering a few warning flags. Cybercriminals are mimicking social media sites in order to obtain your usernames and passwords. These phishing scams pose as well-known shipping companies. This massive phishing campaign pretended to be the US Department of Labor. Spelling and grammatical errors are a dead giveaway that an email isn’t official because huge brands hire skilled copywriters and editors to review all of the emails and other messages they send out to their clients. Inconsistencies in the sender address in one of these emails can also suggest that the message is not genuine. In order to deceive potential victims, cybercriminals frequently utilize email addresses that look similar to a company’s actual email address.
When it comes to phishing emails, suspicious URLs and attachments are also dead giveaways. Although the perpetrators of brand phishing attempts may try to create a feeling of urgency in order to entice users to reply, requests for sensitive information are another red signal. This is because huge corporations, such as Amazon, rarely, if ever, ask their customers to send critical information by email. Finally, if the message in an email appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is. So stay away from emails alerting you that you’ve won the jackpot or other messages with similar themes. Brand phishing isn’t going away anytime soon because it’s a lucrative business for cybercriminals, but knowing how to recognize the indicators can help protect you from these scams and prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft.