Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a large network of more than 11,000 domains used to promote numerous fake investment schemes to users in Europe.
The platforms show fabricated evidence of falsified celebrity endorsements and enrichment to create an image of legitimacy and attract a large number of victims.
The operation’s goal was to trick users into an opportunity for high-return investments and to convince victims to deposit a minimum amount of 250 EUR to sign up for the fake services.
Researchers at Group-IB discovered the operation and mapped the massive network of phishing sites, redirections, and content hosts.
Group-IB suggested that more than 5,000 of these identified malicious sites are still active. The countries targeted in this scheme include the UK, Portugal, and Sweden.
Effort is made by the fraudsters to promote the campaigns on various social media platforms, using compromised Facebook and YouTube pages to help the scheme.
Victims that fall for the trick often click on the ads to learn more and are redirected to fake landing pages full of alleged success stories.
The fraudsters then request contact details and reach out to explain the ‘terms and conditions’.
The victim is then convinced to place a deposit. These details are stored and used for future campaigns or resold on the dark web.
Once the money is deposited, the victim then gets access to a fake investment dashboard that allegedly lets them track daily gains, thus prolonging the illusion of legitimacy.
The scam is revealed to the user when they try to withdraw money from the platform.
When an investment platform grabs your attention, you should check that the company you’re dealing with are established brokers.