Phishing Attacks Themed Around Popular Weight Loss Drugs Increase 183%

Phishing Attacks Weight Loss DrugsAs popularity grows for these proven methods of weight loss, scammers have taken note and have placed a significant focus on separating victims from their money.

One of the most critical elements of a good phishing attack is creating a sense of urgency. And nothing gets people more urgent than a good deal.  With the drug Semaglutide in its’ various brandings at a cost of over $1000 per month, scammers have found an audience for scams claiming to provide low-cost access to the drug.

According to McAfee’s Threat Research Team, scams centered around Ozempic, Wegovy and Semaglutide include “malicious websites, scam emails and texts, posts on social media, and marketplace listings." And the growth in these scams is astounding – the number of phishing attacks grew 183% when comparing the first four months of 2024 with the last four months of 2023. 

In total, McAfee researchers identified over 176,000 dangerous phishing attempts ties to 449 risky URLs. They also found scammers on social media impersonating doctors based outside of the U.S. promising Ozempic and other drugs without a prescription.

The scams promise access to the weight loss drug at a significant discount, accepting payment through Bitcoin, Zelle, Venmo and Cash App – all platforms where once the payment is made, you can’t get it back.

The proliferation of these scams indicates a strong desire by potential victims to at least “take a look."  It only takes one cyber criminal intent on gaining access to endpoints who starts to use the weight loss drug theming to get the attention of corporate users on their work break. Once that happens, it’s game over.

It’s why our security awareness training doesn’t just focus on business-related phishing content, as attacks can just as easily take the form of a topic of personal interest to a corporate employee.

Unfortunately for the victims of this scam, the only loss they’ll experience is that of their money.

KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

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Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before bad actors do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

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