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New research finds uptick in deception scams

NortonLifeLock’s global research team, Norton Labs, published its quarterly Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report sharing the top consumer cyber security insights and takeaways from January through March 2022, including how cyber criminals are deceiving victims with deepfakes and crypto scams to access financial or personal information.

user iconReporter
Fri, 06 May 2022
New research finds uptick in deception scams
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Deepfakes are being utilised by bad actors to scam consumers and spread disinformation.

The Norton Labs team has spotted deepfakes used to create fake social media profiles, fuel charity scams and other fraudulent ploys, and spread propaganda relating to the ongoing war in Ukraine, in addition to deepfakes used simply to make funny videos.

Crypto scams are also trending as cryptocurrency becomes more widely adopted. Norton Labs tracked over $29 million in bitcoin stolen in 2021 and expects this figure to continue to rise in 2022 as the crypto market’s value increases and scammers capitalise on world events, including the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine to steal donations from philanthropic crypto investors.

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New threats emerge as cyber criminals combine tactics. By presenting realistic disinformation via deepfakes in a phishing scam that collects payment in cryptocurrency, a consumer would have little to no recourse.

In Australia, between January and March 2022, Norton thwarted:

  • over 37,098,261 threats, the equivalent of around 403,241 threats per day;
  • 471,361 phishing attempts; and
  • 59,540 tech support scams.

According to Darren Shou, head of technology at NortonLifeLock, scammers are always evolving their tactics to make their attacks look more believable.

“Cyber criminals are masters at profiting from deception, so it’s crucial for consumers to be aware of the latest scams and to critically analyse anything suspicious they encounter on the internet, whether on social media or in their inbox.

“We are here to help consumers navigate a changing digital world where you can’t always believe what you are seeing,” Shou said.

[Related: Lazy passwords putting two-thirds of Aussie organisations at risk]

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