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Beware of 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer': Fraudsters targeting money and data

Cybercriminals, as reported by Kaspersky, are exploiting users' anticipation of movie releases through phishing scams to deceive and unlawfully obtain their hard-earned money and sensitive personal data.

Edited By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: July 18, 2023 19:59 IST
barbie, oppenheimer
Image Source : INDIA TV Beware of 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer'

Scammers are using the two highly anticipated upcoming Hollywood movies --- Margot Robbie starring 'Barbie' and Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' -- to steal users' hard-earned money and sensitive personal data.

According to the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, scammers are deceiving unsuspecting users by distributing phishing scams that prey on the excitement surrounding movie releases, all with the sole intention of tricking individuals and unlawfully acquiring their hard-earned money and sensitive personal data.

One of the fraudulent pages discovered entices users with special offers on Barbie dolls coinciding with the release of the movie.

Aside from the standard dolls, users are encouraged to purchase limited-edition movie-related dolls, such as the lead actress Margot Robbie, for around 12 pounds sterling. 

Users are then redirected to a purchase form after deciding what to buy, which requires personal identification details such as name, address, phone number and banking information. 

Unsuspecting users unknowingly send their money and personal information to fraudsters. Aside from the financial risks, this scam raises serious privacy concerns because the stolen data could be sold on the Dark Web Market, said the report.

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"While the experience is exhilarating, we must not overlook the risks. By maintaining a vigilant mindset and practising safe online habits, we can fully enjoy the Barbie and Oppenheimer experience while safeguarding ourselves from cyber threats lurking in the digital world," said Olga Svistunova, security expert at Kaspersky.

Moreover, the report said that the scammers did not miss out on another popular release, Oppenheimer. 

They deceived people by offering to stream the movie for free, but their real intention was to steal users' banking information and money. 

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Scammers frequently use this tactic in such situations, requesting a nominal fee of one dollar or euro for registration. To proceed with the registration, they require the linking of a bank card, allowing unauthorised and difficult-to-cancel debits from users' accounts, according to the report.

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Inputs from IANS

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