Attack Spotlight: Scammers Create Lookalike Sites to Trick Web Users

August 30, 2019
Gretel Egan

Our latest Attack Spotlight, available now, provides free content you can immediately share with end-users to help them avoid a growing trend: “lookalike” websites that mimic legitimate sites.

Why You Should Raise Awareness of This Threat

Proofpoint researchers continually analyze more than 350 million domains—virtually all domains on the web—to identify regional and global trends. The 2019 Domain Fraud Report revealed the following troubling discoveries among Proofpoint Digital Risk Protection customers:

  • 96% found exact matches of their brand-owned domain with a different top-level domain (TLD)—for example, “.net” vs. “.com”
  • 85% of retail brands found domains selling counterfeit goods
  • 76% found lookalike domains posing as their brand

Warn Employees About Fraudulent Domains and Lookalike Sites

We encourage you to use our free security awareness resources to alert your employees to the growing threat of domain fraud. Our latest Attack Spotlight features an example of a lookalike site and highlights the techniques cyber criminals use to make fraudulent sites appear safe. The awareness materials will also inform users of the following facts:

  • Lookalike sites are designed to sell counterfeit goods, steal money and credentials, and spread malware.
  • Attackers fraudulently use familiar brands (including logos and photos) to lend credibility to lookalike sites.
  • Lookalike links in phishing emails, social media posts and online ads are used to lure people to fraudulent sites.
  • Sites that feature https encryption should not be blindly trusted, as cyber criminals are increasingly buying security certificates for malicious sites.

Download Our Free Resources Today

Our latest Attack Spotlight resources are available now. The following materials are free to access and distribute:

  • Ready-to-use email content for communicating with your employees
  • A security awareness PDF detailing the threat in easy-to-understand terms
  • A short awareness module with action-oriented tips for identifying and avoiding lookalike sites

In addition, customers who use our ThreatSim® Phishing Simulations will find new options in our template library that will help them test their users’ susceptibility to lookalike links.

If you have not used these tools in the past, be sure to visit our Attack Spotlight archive to access free resources about other trending attacks, including those targeting Office 365, OneDrive, and DocuSign users.