Scammers Try To Steal Personal Info By Offering Fake Movie Tickets of 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer'

Scammers Try To Steal Personal Info By Offering Fake Movie Tickets of 'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer'
Cover Image Source: Getty Images |Stuart C. Wilson

If you have scrolled through a feed of any social media in the past few weeks then you are not alien to the 'Barbiemania' that is spread all over. However, it's not only the businesses that are taking advantage of the hype. Cybersecurity experts have been warning everybody of online scammers who are cashing in on the summer blockbuster's fame. "Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for opportunities to make phishing and other scams more attractive and believable," Steve Grobman, chief technology officer at the software security firm McAfee said on the official blog, as per NY Post. "They often leverage popular and well-publicized events such as movie premieres, concerts, or sporting events to trick users into clicking on malicious links."

Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole
Image Source: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

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The company reported over 100 new instances of malware with 'Barbie-related' file names in the last three weeks, and over 37% of them occurred in the U.S. These malware hide themselves as film download files and then hijack personal information with spyware. "The videos will direct potential victims to a Discord server or a website," McAfee said. In some other cases, the scam might contain an email or even a link that will then direct the users to a video that will be captioned "Barbie the Movie" or something along those lines, as per The Sun.

The anti-virus company urged people to stick to reliable sources and streamers and only purchase tickets from known places. The company says that these scammers do their best to blend in with big media events to go unnoticed. "A quick way to sniff out a scam is to take a close look at the promotion. If it asks you to provide your bank or card information to qualify, count on it being a scam," says McAfee.

Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole
Image Source: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Scammers are wasting no time exploiting the hype surrounding the two most anticipated movies of 2023. According to IOL, scammers tricked people into clicking links to watch the movie for free and instead took a look at all their confidential banking details and sensitive information. In these scams, the scammers ask the user to pay a nominal registration fee for the free streaming which allows them to gain access to their bank accounts.

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Image Source: The Packers Movers
Image Source: The Packers Movers

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Beware of Phishing Scams: Never open any suspicious mail, messages, or website links that offer exclusive deals and freebies. 

Verifying Websites: Ensuring that the website URL has a secure connection is a wise idea when it comes to buying something from any website. Make sure that there are https:// in the URL along with a padlock symbol in the address bar that indicates that the website is secure.

Using security solutions: Good software can always shield you from malware practices. Using good security software will help you detect malware practices easily and effectively.

Being mindful of privacy: Shielding your data has become all the more important in today's world. Always refrain from sharing your data wherever unnecessary. Information like address, phone number, e-mail ID, or any financial information should be protected at all costs.

Know what's reliable: Official websites and trusted sites along with authorized retailers and reputable sources are the key things to look for when trying to avoid any kind of scam. 

Staying informed: Keep yourself informed about the latest scams that are happening. This will help you to identify the red flags if you are in a similar situation. You can look to agencies like CISA that can keep you posted with their alerts.

Frequent updates: Running an older version of any software will not be as effective as needed. So, make sure to keep updating your OS along with the anti-malware software.

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