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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Classiscam Scam-as-a-Service Targets Banks and 251 Brands

Classiscam Scam-as-a-Service Targets Banks and 251 Brands
Zane Kennedy Published on 7th September 2023 Cybersecurity Researcher

The "Classiscam" scam-as-a-service operation has seen an alarming expansion, casting its net over an increasing number of brands globally and causing heightened financial loss. Recent reports indicate a concerning shift in their tactics: not only are they targeting consumers, but they're also setting their sights on significant banking institutions.

Classiscam’s operations closely mirror those of ransomware-as-a-service. Primarily orchestrated through Telegram channels, it employs a model where affiliates are enlisted and supplied with phishing toolkits. These kits facilitate the creation of deceptive advertisements and web pages with the aim of tricking unsuspecting users into parting with their hard-earned money, credit card information, and, more recently, banking details.

The spoils of Classiscam campaigns are then divided, with 20-30% pocketed by the developers and the rest going to the affiliate.

Group-IB, a leading cybersecurity research firm, was the first to unearth the operations of Classiscam back in 2019. Their findings have charted the rapid evolution and growth of this scam. In its inception year, the operation was leveraged by 40 cybercrime groups, cumulatively netting approximately $6.5 million. By 2021, Classiscam's scale of operations had witnessed a substantial boost, selling their scam kits through 90 Telegram channels, attracting 38,000 registered members, and inflicting estimated financial damage of $29 million.

In the present, the scale and reach of Classiscam has grown even further. Financial losses attributed to their fraudulent activities have increased to a massive $64.5 million. Classiscam now also targets 251 unique brands, a significant leap from the previous year's 169.

The number of affiliated criminal gangs has also multiplied, with 393 known groups now operating with the assistance of Classiscam. The scam's focus seems primarily on Europe, with Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy, and Romania bearing the brunt of the attacks. UK internet users are the most adversely affected, with average losses per Classiscam transaction reaching $865.

Classiscam's expansion is not just in numbers but also in the sophistication of its methods. The phishing sites, which started as rudimentary traps, have undergone significant enhancements. Features now include balance checks to appraise the maximum charges they can place on a victim, and the service can now generate fake bank login pages aimed squarely at stealing banking credentials. These fake pages have been noted to emulate 63 banks across 14 countries.

To avoid falling for such traps, it's advised to steer clear of communication outside an official site's messaging channel, treat too-good-to-be-true prices with suspicion, and employ only the most secure, fraud-protected payment methods.

About the Author

Zane is a Cybersecurity Researcher and Writer at vpnMentor. His extensive experience in the tech and cybersecurity industries provides readers with accurate and trustworthy news stories and articles. He aims to help individuals protect themselves through informative content and awareness of cybersecurity's crucial role in today's digital landscape.