Fraud and scams will always persist. While the game largely remains the same the methods will change and adapt as technology allows. The cat and mouse process continues with bad actors looking to part honest money from good people and evade immediate detection. Meanwhile, there is an army of regulators, enforcers, and private firms that are tracking, revealing, and hopefully punishing these nefarious characters that typically operate beyond the borders of the US and other developed countries.
Feedzai, a platform providing “end to end protection” from financial crime, recently compiled a list of the top countries that host fraudsters and their most popular scams. While not inclusive, as bad guys live everywhere, it is an interesting list.
Below is a synopsis of the top 5 global locations for the fraudsters, according to the team at Feedzai.
- Turkey – A market that is home to “highly sophisticated” trojan banking malware. These include SMS grabbers or text messages that include a passcode as well as screen overlays – or bogus log-in websites. The most frequent target countries are: Spain, Poland, Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Italy and more.
- Nigeria – Hasn’t everyone received that Nigerian prince scam? Right. Feedzai labels Nigeria a “pioneer” in internet scams. Romance traps, CEO imposters, and yes, “419” scams where perps act like a wealthy individual who happens to need help from the outside. It will cost you though. Target countries: USA and the UK.
- India – “Farms” or fraudulent services operate in this populous Asian country. Fake tech support leveraging a “RAT” or remote access trojan allows these criminals to steal your credentials and then your money. Target countries: everywhere.
- Morocco – RealPhishing attacks are popular in this North African country. Fraudsters look to bypass two-factor authentication (2FA) methods by mimicking a legitimate website. It is also home to the SIM Swap scam that has been effective in stealing crypto. Target countries: Latin America, Southern Europe and the Middle East.
- North Korea – This hermit country that operates under the cult of a dictatorship is in desperate need of hard currency. Better to steal then to earn it I guess. North Korea has long been sanctioned by the US government but it does little good (unless the perps leave the country). North Korea is well known for perpetrating big crypto hacks while targeting other sites and businesses. Beware. Target countries: Usually the US but just about any country with money will do.
While Feedzai does not provide how they determine which country makes this ignoble list (amount of theft? attempts to commit fraud? the number of criminals attempting fraud?), it is interesting nonetheless and reminds us that we all must be careful and take common-sense precautions so we don’t end up on the victim list.