Saudi authorities raise alarm against online crooks targeting shoppers with fake e-stores – Tech

A large number of uninitiated online shoppers were suddenly introduced to a rising tide of e-commerce platforms as an alternative to malls and stores during lockdowns. After increased dependence on online shops for essentials, electronics are being touted as the next big thing for the Middle East’s digital retail sector.

But as the online cash-flow has surged in the new normal, cybercrooks are also on the prowl, constantly trying to lure unsuspecting consumers with dubious schemes. To protect netizens, Saudi Arabia’s authorities are warning them against fake e-stores being used by fraudsters to swindle money from shoppers.

The Kingdom has warned residents that these scam artists are using fake logos to pose as government organisations, so that they can pass off fake electronics on offer as genuine deals. Digging further led investigators to websites which were connected to a Chinese store, along with 182 shady links that were used for the scam.

Officials have also found that social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok are being used to draw in victims, by posting fake ads. The consumers are then led to websites which are designed to replicate real online portals selling electronic devices.

Cyber scammers also pay attention to details, by using Arabic language and Saudi currency, and at times even manage to fool seasoned online shoppers. The discounts offered may be too attractive to resist, but it turns out the offers are simply too good to be true.

The warning from the kingdom has come in the wake of a year when 91% of Saudi-based firms had reported facing cyber attacks. The rise in online fraud is also coupled with the surge of 36000 new digital stores in the gulf country.

In the same region, authorities in UAE have issued a warning for residents to exercise caution against online investment schemes that promise to make people rich in a short time.

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This content was originally published here.