Scammers are trying harder than ever to trick unsuspecting users with fake websites, according to a new study by PandaLabs. The security firm estimates that cybercriminals create around 57,000 new pages every week and use SEO techniques to position them well on search engines, inevitably luring people to click through and execute malicious code or enter login credentials.
PandaLabs found that 65% of bogus sites target online bankers and 27% go after online shoppers. Another 2.3% pose as sites from other financial institutions and 1.9% look like government organizations. Here's a top 10 breakdown of the most impersonated brands:
1. eBay 23.21%
2. Western Union 21.15%
3. Visa 9.51%
4. United Services Automobile Association 6.85%
5. HSBC 5.98%
6. Amazon 2.42%
7. Bank of America 2.29%
8. PayPal 1.77%
9. Internal Revenue Service 1.69%
10. Bendigo Bank 1.38%
So, how does one avoid this ploy? Easy. Type the address in manually. Less experienced users (or perhaps seasoned users with a bad habit) often search for sites they want to visit -- even if they know the address -- instead of just going there directly. Visit the site frequently? Bookmark it. Inexperienced users also mistype addresses frequently, and that's targeted too.