Beware! Cybercriminals Exploit These 10 Trusted Brands


Cybercriminals have discovered a cunning tactic to infiltrate your digital defenses: impersonating well-known and trusted brands. These companies, having invested heavily in building their reputation, are ripe targets for hackers looking to exploit your trust.

The most common weapon in the cybercriminal arsenal is phishing attacks. Scammers create deceptive URLs that closely resemble authentic company websites, making it easy to slip past your vigilant eye. Here are a few subtle tricks these hackers employ:

  • Character Substitution: They replace a zero with the letter “O” or a capital “I” with a lowercase “L.” To the hurried eye, these emails can appear genuine. 
  • Subdomain Deception: Adding a word that appears to be a subdomain of the real company, such as
  • Domain Extension Variation: Altering the domain extension, like using “”

Some malicious actors take things a step further by creating fake web pages that mirror genuine sites. When you click on a link via email, SMS, or social media, several unfortunate outcomes can unfold.

There’s the threat of Malware Intrusion. Clicking on a rogue link can trigger an automatic malware download, compromising your device’s security. Malware possesses the capability to collect sensitive information like usernames, credit card numbers, and more.

Another perilous consequence is Data Harvesting. Phony websites often incorporate forms designed to harvest your information, including login credentials, passwords, and even credit or bank details.

Another risk is Open Redirects. Deceptive links may initially appear legitimate, but they redirect you to malicious websites with the sole purpose of stealing your data. These cunning tactics underscore the need for heightened vigilance against cyber threats.

So, which brand impersonations should you be vigilant against? According to Check Point’s recent Brand Phishing Report for Q2 2023, the top 10 most frequently impersonated brands are:

  1. Microsoft (29%)
  2. Google (19.5%)
  3. Apple (5.2%)
  4. Wells Fargo (4.2%)
  5. Amazon (4%)
  6. Walmart (3.9%)
  7. Roblox (3.8%)
  8. LinkedIn (3%)
  9. Home Depot (2.5%)
  10. Facebook (2.1%)

Take a moment to consider how many of these companies regularly send you emails. Even a single one increases your vulnerability.

Cybercriminals invest significant effort in crafting persuasive phishing attacks. They have a keen understanding of the message types that are highly effective in grabbing your attention, particularly when they exploit the trust associated with these well-known brands.

Common Phishing Attacks Used in Combination with Trusted Brands:

  • Unusual Activity Alerts: These emails claim that someone has accessed your account and urge you to change your password immediately. Fear-driven, people often click without thinking, rushing to change their password to avoid becoming victims.

  • Fake Gift Cards: These emails suggest that someone has sent you an e-gift card. Upon opening the email, they either redirect you to a site to “claim your gift card” or present a “redeem now” button.

  • Account Verification Urgency: These emails assert that your account has been disconnected and require you to verify your information. As soon as you enter your login credentials, the hacker gains access.

These scams occur daily, with both individuals like you and unsuspecting employees within your organization falling victim to them. In the absence of adequate training, employees might fail to identify the warning signs, leading to panicked attempts to discreetly address these “issues,” which ultimately worsen the problem.

Protecting your network involves multiple measures utilizing cybersecurity services. Consider implementing email monitoring to reduce the likelihood of phishing emails infiltrating your inbox. Equally important is ensuring that employees are well-informed, enabling them to keep your organization secure, even if a phishing email slips through detection systems.

Start by securing your network with a FREE Cybersecurity Risk Assessment. We will evaluate your vulnerabilities and provide comprehensive guidance on mitigation strategies. There’s no obligation, but understanding your risks is crucial. Click here to schedule a 10-minute call consultation now.