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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 01, 2016

Extent of brand fraud on social revealed

New research by cybersecurity experts reveals that almost two-fifths of brand social media accounts are fraudulent.

by Helen Leggatt

Proofpoint's Brand Fraud Report looked at the social media accounts of the top ten global brands, which included the likes of Amazon and BMW, and investigated fraudulent accounts associated with those brands.

Those brands were found to have an active social presence, and an average of 33.7 million followers across the major social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Overall, 4,840 social media accounts were associated with those top ten brands - of which Proofpoint found that 19% (902 accounts) were fraudulent. Thirty percent of those fraudulent accounts were either scams or offers for counterfeit products or services. Many of these fraudulent accounts were presented via slight, and not immediately noticeable, changes to a brand's account name, fooling social media users into thinking it is a genuine account.

fraud brand.pngFour percent of the fraudulent accounts of these were either phishing for user information, installing malware, protesting against the brand in question or spoofing it - all of which can lead to reputation issues.

Cyber attackers don't stop with web, email, or mobile apps. Social media
has become a prime attack target due to a large user base and corporate ad
spending," says the report. "Companies have embraced social media as an essential marketing communications tool. And they continue to build out their social presence. In fact, 38% of companies plan to spend more than 20% of their total ad budgets on
social media channels. This focus makes social media a lucrative and attractive target for cyber criminals."

Tags: brand marketing, fraud trends, social media

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