Introduction

In this post, we will take a look at some of the most interesting and dangerous scams we need to be aware of in the upcoming decade. The advancements in technology and AI have helped us put more people online. But they have lured scammers who now target unsuspecting users on the web.

Election Manipulation


In the last decade, we have seen AI advance from being able to recognize cats in a photo to generating art. Take it a step further, and we enter the world of Deepfakes. Deepfake is a technology that lets you replace or swap people's faces in existing images and videos.  They are powered by deep neural networks (hence the name 'Deepfake') that learn several features of a person's face before swapping it with an existing one in a video.

We saw a glimpse of what this technology can when Jordan Peele created a Deepfake of Barack Obama. He created the video as an awareness campaign against Deepfakes. But, the upcoming elections in 2020 will have several such videos/ images created with an intent to mislead people. It will be a much bigger problem when compared to the 'fake news' problem we faced during the 2016 elections. Thanks to the open-source community, over the past few years this technology has become better and the videos have become increasingly difficult to distinguish from authentic ones.

Jordan Peele’s Obama impression using Deepfake technology

Social media platforms like Facebook and Reddit will become the centers of operations for such demagogues. They might be developing technologies to counter such fraud. But how quickly can they detect a post to be fraud will the question that needs to be answered. By the video/ audio can be verified, it can spread to millions of people. After all, during elections, timing is the key.

Online Counterfeiting


Online counterfeiting has always been on the rise. We have seen scammers come up with a variety of scams that can potentially attract the online crowd. From shopping brands like Nike, Adidas, and Rayban to e-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay are impacted by online fraudsters. In this section, we will take a look at some of the scams we predict to rise in popularity in the coming years.

Fake Nike Store: hxxp://www[.]nnktrw[.]com/

Fake Nike Store
Fake Nike Store

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 167.160.3.131 (Country: Turkey)
  • We found 68 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Fake RayBan Store: hxxps://www[.]rbopt[.]com/

Fake RayBan Store

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 104.18.39.166 (Country: United States)
  • We found 4 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Fake Amazon Store: hxxp://mogygyhh[.]fhuii[.]xyz/

Fake Amazon Store

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 154.223.25.137 (Country: United States)
  • We found 7 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Fake eBay Store: hxxps://itnvs2[.]co[.]uk/eBay-items-58261527/

Fake eBay Store
Fake eBay Store

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 199.188.200.46 (Country: United States)
  • We found 55 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Most of these websites are hosted on IP addresses that have other scam pages. For instance, IP 167.160.3.131 (Fake Nike Store) also hosts fake UGG and North Face stores. In the coming decade, we expect these scam pages to rise significantly. With the introduction of Deepfakes and other advanced AI technologies, we can expect the variety of these scams to increase along with the volume.

Cryptocurrency Scams

Scammers have always been innovative in trying to lure crypto enthusiasts into giving their money away. This decade has seen the emergence of several new cryptocurrency scams that set a precedent for the next few years to come. We predict 'Cryptocurrency giveaways' to be the most popular ones followed by 'Fake ICOs'. The goal of these is to steal cryptocurrency from unsuspecting user wallets or lure users into sending them crypto coins.

Cryptocurrency giveaway scams: Scammers try to trick you by offering free bitcoins (or other cryptocurrencies). They promise to send you 10 times or more of the amount you invest on these websites. For example, if you send them 1 BTC the scammer promises to send you 10 BTC in return.

Fake ICO scams: Scammers create websites which claim to offer an ICO on a known brand like Facebook’s Libra. They claim to offer discounts and lure unsuspecting users into sending them cryptocurrency.


We predict Facebook's 'Libra' to be the most affected crypto brand. Yet to make its debut in 2020, we have already seen dozens of fake Libra websites on the internet.

Fake Libra webpage: hxxp://calibra-lba[.]com/

Fake Libra Page
Fake Libra Page

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 199.188.200.46 (Country: United States)
  • We found 5 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Fake Tesla BTC giveaway: hxxps://muskelon547776[.]webcindario[.]com/

Fake Tesla BTC Giveaway Scams
Fake Tesla BTC Giveaway Scams

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 199.188.200.46 (Country: Spain)
  • We found 350 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Account Compromise

This decade has seen several industries migrate to providing online services. The entertainment industry switched from TV and DVDs to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney. Almost all bank transactions can be done on the web. Although it sounds exciting, it poses an increased threat from online scammers.

Scammers obtain login credentials of users through phishing pages and sell lists of usernames and passwords on the dark web. Some of these lists also sensitive banking information like credit/debit card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV numbers.

With more services around the globe migrating online, we expect an increase in the number of such scams. Users need to be aware of where they enter their personal information. Once an account is compromised, scammers also get access to their personal information in the account.

Fake Netflix webpage: hxxp://www[.]xn--netflx-bllngs-fjbdc[.]com/

Fake Netflix Webpage Scam
Fake Netflix Webpage Scam

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 199.188.200.46 (Country: United States)
  • We found 14 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Fake Bank of America webpage: hxxps://centerbofa[.]webcindario[.]com/Bankofamerica-update-747473&838474774/run/index/login[.]php

Fake Bank of America Webpage
Fake Bank of America Webpage

Insights:

  • IP Address of the scam site: 5.57.226.202 (Country: United States)
  • We found 14 other phishing/ scam pages on this website. For more details visit CheckPhish.ai

Targeted Ransomware

Ransomware - A software that could lock a user out of his/her computer until a ransom is paid. These programs can delete user data.

Targeted Ransomware - Ransomware targeting a particular organization/ company.

In the last few years, we have seen such attacks multiplying in number and a few victim organizations ended up paying the ransom money. In 2020 and years to come, we can expect these numbers to keep growing. Executing a ransomware attack needs skill and knowledge. Most of the actors behind ransomware are not small-time cyber criminals or script kiddies. Actors behind SamSam, ransomware, collected more than $7 million in ransom in 2018 alone.

Conclusion

As long as there are people on the web, there will be scammers. These scams will keep evolving and will get more complicated in the future. It will become harder for us to distinguish real from fake. We at RedMarlin created a free online tool called CheckPhish.ai. If you come across a suspicious link, scan it on CheckPhish before accessing it. We use deep learning technologies to detect a counterfeit page in real-time.