Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company, has identified a scam campaign exploiting the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
Yesterday, it warned in a statement that attackers were attempting to capitalise on people's willingness to aid those impacted by deceiving potential victims into making donations, ultimately leading to the theft of their money.
“To date, cybercriminals have disseminated over 500 scam emails, and created fraudulent websites to expedite the money transfer process. Kaspersky urges users to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to verify the recipients of their donations,” it said.
Kaspersky said fake charity scams frequently occurred, often exploiting real disasters or emergencies. Regrettably, the Israeli-Hamas conflict was no different. Kaspersky said its experts had observed a surge in scam emails written in English, falsely seeking donations for those affected by the conflict.
Attackers use advanced social engineering techniques to exploit people's desire to help and their compassion, trying to lure potential victims into making fake donations to steal money.
Scammers impersonate charitable organisations and use emotional language to entice users to click on a scam website link, where they are prompted to contribute. These deceptive emails come from various addresses.
Andrey Kovtun, a security expert at Kaspersky, said, “In these emails, scammers try to create multiple text variations to evade spam filters. For instance, they use various call-to-donate phrases like ‘we call to your compassion and benevolence’ or ‘we call to your empathy and generosity’ and substitute words like 'help' with synonyms such as 'support,' 'aid,' etc. Besides, they alter links and sender addresses. ”