Computer Crime Research Center


A new online fraud, beware!

Date: April 12, 2005

Panda Software is warning users about the appearance of a new kind of online fraud. During the last few hours, several websites have been detected that try to entice users with the offer of cheap flights. However the real aim of these web pages is not to sell anything, but to get users to enter their credit card details which will then fall into the hands of cyber-crooks.

The scam starts when an unsuspecting user searches for airline ticket offers with an Internet search engine, such as Google. This takes them to an Internet address offering cheap flights. The site includes a form asking the user to enter personal details, including their credit card number, expiry date and verification value (CVV). Once these details have been entered, to prolong the illusion, an error page is displayed telling the user that the transaction has been unsuccessful, and offering instructions on how to pay for the ticket by postal money order.

This, in fact, means that the user could actually fall victim to the fraud twice. Firstly, through sending the criminals details of a valid credit card, with which they can carry out all kinds of transactions (transfers, payments ... ) and then, in addition, they could lose the money if they were to send the requested amount by money order.

Until now, the websites identified -- which had been disabled by the authorities -- offered airline tickets, but it is highly likely that there will be many others offering any other type of "bargain" with the same objective.

According to Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs, "This kind of online fraud differs from those witnessed previously. The malicious user does not contact the person interested in buying the product, but it is actually the buyer, in searching for the best prices online, who goes to the fraudulent web page. This creates a false sense of security that can lead users to proceed with the transaction".

To avoid this kind of fraud "Users are best advised to treat ’bargains’ with suspicion, and only make online purchases from trusted sites. In any event, if in doubt, it is a good idea to search for information about the website in question on the Internet. Users should be able to find opinions and experiences of other users who have used the same service," adds Corrons.

The authorities have been alerted to this kind of threat and IT security companies are collaborating to protect and inform users of the dangers of this new Internet fraud.
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2009-10-15 12:24:05 - took my money and never... Josh
2009-08-25 23:43:06 - i wish i knew about this site before i... ashlie
2009-06-27 16:56:48 - Daniel, You should contact your bank's... Kenneth
2008-09-16 08:25:00 - HELLOW SHAMIT AGGARWAL
2008-08-05 15:57:08 - Hotwire charged my bank account for a... Daniel
2008-06-23 17:28:29 - is in Seattle. I just... peanut
2008-05-19 11:12:31 - I used there service last June and had no... Poloy
2008-05-16 23:29:49 - Hi everyone.. I am a little bit confused..... Ann
2008-05-16 12:30:17 - I was taken in by too!... Russell
2008-04-28 09:36:24 - I am responding to the travel website set... Robert Obear
Total 113 comments
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