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Cybercrime shows no sign of slowing down. While scams continue to be the most common form of cybercrime, according to the latest report by Group-IB, scammers are more interested in brands from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
The report called Digital Risk Trends found the average number of scam resources created per brand, defined as the number of instances in which a brand’s image and logo were appropriated for use in scam campaigns, across all regions and industries, more than doubled year-on-year in 2022, up 162%. The MEA region’s figure showed a 135% increase in 2022.
According to the report, scams have caused over $55 billion in damages, and there is an increase in the number of scams as well as the number of people engaged in scam activity, both driven by the use of social media to spread scams and the growing automation of scam processes. The analysts found that 58% of scam resources targeting companies in seven core economic sectors were created on social media.
“Scammers are using a vast amount of domains and social media accounts to not only reach more potential victims but also evade counteraction. Scams are also becoming more automated, as the ever-increasing number of new tools available to would-be cybercriminals has lowered the barrier of entry. We expect to see AI also play a greater role in scams in the future,” said Sharef Hlal, Head of the Group-IB Digital Risk Protection Analytics Team (MEA.)
Globally, scammers’ interest in the financial sector hit the roof radically, as the average number of scam resources created per financial brand increased year-on-year by 186% in 2022. Similar growth was observed in the oil and gas sector (112%) and the manufacturing industry (55%).
Overall, Group-IB detected 304% more scam resources that utilized the name and likeness of legitimate brands in 2022 compared to the preceding year.
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