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posted by janrinok on Friday May 10, @03:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the data-is-the-new-currency dept.

More than 800,000 people in Europe and the US appear to have been duped into sharing card details and other sensitive personal data with a vast network of fake online designer shops apparently operated from China:

An international investigation by the Guardian, Die Zeit and Le Monde gives a rare inside look at the mechanics of what the UK's Chartered Trading Standards Institute has described as one of the largest scams of its kind, with 76,000 fake websites created.

A trove of data examined by reporters and IT experts indicates the operation is highly organised, technically savvy – and ongoing.

Operating on an industrial scale, programmers have created tens of thousands of fake web shops offering discounted goods from Dior, Nike, Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Versace and Prada, as well as many other premium brands.

[...] The first fake shops in the network appear to have been created in 2015. More than 1m "orders" have been processed in the past three years alone, according to analysis of the data. Not all payments were successfully processed, but analysis suggests the group may have attempted to take as much as €50m (£43m) over the period. Many shops have been abandoned, but a third of them – more than 22,500 – are still live.

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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 11, @04:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 11, @04:02PM (#1356551)

    If we just add blue checkmark to the sites we trust, everything will be better. I promise.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by anubi on Sunday May 12, @01:22AM

    by anubi (2828) on Sunday May 12, @01:22AM (#1356604) Journal

    I had good experience with AliExpress. It feels like a Chinese version of eBay sans auctions and used things. It was a good place for me to get integrated circuits and module components.

    I see all sorts of moneymaking videos out there about buying on Ali to sell on Amazon. However for the stuff I get, it seems the same stuff is on both sites, and Amazon has a more comprehensive American logistics presence. ( I really like their photo-of-where- they-left-it thing. That has clarified several misunderstandings ).

    There's a new outfit out there called TEMU, but I haven't signed up.

    I am leery of exactly what this story illustrates. I can take a disappointment in a product, but messing up my payment credentials is a whole different animal .

    The story tells of using expired domains to restart these operations. I had registered four domain names several years ago, then abandoned them when my plans for starting up a business fell apart when my prospective business partner moved his existing business to another state to avoid governmental hindrances imposed by California and the city.

    My domain names were bought up by some business just as soon as they expired. I am relieved I never put anything up that would go into web archival crawlers.

    The story related how these recycled domain names prey on the reputation of their previous owners to get past fraud blockers as they indicate a past history with no record of foul play.

    I guess the Internet is getting like a collection of shopping malls. Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, etc. that individual businesses unite under one collective which insures fair play - sellers and buyers alike -, and the parking lot full of standalones where anything goes.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]