Over the last few years, CTM360 has observed a rapid rise of fraudulent and bogus websites disguised as genuine news sites. In this particular type of fraud, users are misled via fake/bogus news with fake claims. Such claims include “Shutting down of bank accounts, Employee quits job and makes a fortune, Royal families investing in a particular company share, golden opportunity, financial freedom, fake partnerships, subscription in company shares” etc. Such fake news/claims act as a bait to lure/trick the general public into giving out their personal information and engaging with bogus trading,investment and financial companies. To solve this problem, Team CTM360 has named this problem as Baiting News Site (BNS).
There are a couple of major areas of concern that make it necessary to solve this problem. Firstly the general public is defrauded financially. Especially with the current impact of Covid19 the probability for people falling in the trap of making money from home is much higher. Secondly, these news sites are using VIP names and major organization names in their bogus news articles in order to put validation in their trap. This aspect directly impacts negatively on the reputation and brand value of those VIPs and organizations. Moreover they also sort of impersonate major news companies by naming their news sites very similar to them.
The workings of the scammers are not that difficult. They simply register domain names containing the keyword ‘news’ to host such websites or have sub-directories with targeted brand names in most cases. These sites are made frequently and have no authenticity and are mostly created in regional languages. These sites are pushed via ads through social media channels or targeted SEO ads pushed through search engines, where Ads of the bogus news sites appear on genuine news site’s section of paid Ads, such as on BBC, CNN, etc.
The whole purpose of creating such Baiting News sites is to mass target users of various regions in order to make them invest in bogus trading platforms, investment schemes, and bitcoin trading sites. These sites after deceiving the users with fake news/claims of bogus individuals claiming big wins and asking individuals to input their personal information, banking details, and a fixed amount of money for participating in similar investments.
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