Terry Cutler – The Ethical Hacker
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Classiscam returns

I’d like my followers to know that a fraud scheme widely used during the pandemic has resurfaced. The Classiscam (Scam-as-a-service), first spotted in 2020, uses automated and widely distributed telegram bots and chats to create unlimited instant phishing emails and mimic legitimate classified pages selling various products. 

Classiscam fraudsters approach legitimate buyers and sellers with the request to purchase goods from their bogus and heavily discounted listings. The products, however, do not exist. 

The news comes from the Asia-based IB-Group, tracking Classiscam since first discovering it in 2020. From April 2020 to February 2022, criminals using Classiscam have made at least $29.5 million in illegal profits. IB-Group has spotted around 380 groups with 38,000 fraudsters, a sevenfold increase since 2020, with a quarter of the total groups still active.

How Classiscam works

For a Classiscam to work, a hierarchy of administrators, fake refund workers, and customer service reps create accounts on free classifieds websites and place misleading ads. The scammers post bait ads on popular marketplaces and classified websites, offering heavy, almost unheard-of discounts on tech items like game consoles, laptops, and smartphones. 

When a legitimate buyer contacts the Classiscam seller via a fake online storefront, the goal is to deceive the buyer into chatting further on a third-party messaging service like WhatsApp or Viber, where the scammers can bypass any flagging or link blocking protection. The Classiscammer sends a link to a bastard payment page to complete the transaction.

A Classiscam fake email or page is like a phishing attack email. Be vigilant and look for:

  • Lousy grammar and spelling errors. In this scam, it isn’t always easy to spot these errors. As mentioned, this scam has many workers, including spell checkers. However, they cannot understand every language. There will be errors in spelling. 
  • Inconsistencies in email addresses, links & URLs. As in phishing scams, you might see a Gmail address for technical support but a different one from customer service. It is a sign that the email or fake page is a scam. Most companies use the same accounts across departments. 
  • Requests for login credentials, payment information, and customer data. You will be asked for credentials if you’ve responded to a Classiscam. You are entering a scam when asked to take the conversation to WhatsApp or Viber. Hang up. 

Partner with us

Classiscammers can create an indefinite amount of bogus classified listings. The Cyology Labs solution can keep up and prevent attacks like these from affecting you. We deliver the protection and security traditionally found in many of our security solutions.

If you’re a seller using digital classified ads and want solutions, please visit www.cyologylabs.com for your free assessment.

If you’re a consumer and want to learn how to protect yourself online, please visit www.InternetSafetyUniversity.com for our free masterclass.

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