August 7, 2020
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By: Malena Lopez, Staff Writer

The holiday season is here and it is followed by the thousands, if not millions, of online scams ready to steal credit card data. 

A cybersecurity group known as FireEye has discovered that the notorious cybercrime group FIN7 has resurfaced the internet, leaving millions of online shoppers in jeopardy. 

According to a press release provided by The United States Department of Justice, within a three year span over 100 companies were attacked by FIN7 stealing more than 15 million customer card records. As of January of 2018, three high ranking members of this cybercrime group have been arrested. Each felon is being charged with 26 felony counts. A few of them being alleging conspiracy, wire fraud, computer hacking, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.  

After these FIN7 leaders were found and prosecuted, it left the entire cybercrime group to go into hiding for a year, until now. FIN7 has made a comeback just in time for the holiday season and are now more advanced than ever. 

As explained in a Yahoo Finance report, the FIN7 Malware Scheme goes through four simple tactics. First, these hackers identify a target through companies by gathering information to refashion a company routine’s business email. 

Secondly, FIN7 sends email attachments to different companies and calls the company directly to persuade them to open and activate the email attachment which contains malware giving the hacker full access to the data on the company’s computer. Now that the system is infiltrated, FIN7 locates the “Point of State System,” getting a hold of customers data. 

A few major companies have anti-virus and hacking programs installed in their software, however, FIN7 being as developed as they are now have found ways to get around these barriers. 

Given that holiday shoppers have established a much more innovative way to do their shopping, it comes with major risks. Although these cybercrime groups do not target specific age groups, nationalities, gender, etc. it has in fact been proven that millenials are more than likely to having been a victim of credit card fraud. 

CSUDH marketing major and credit card fraud victim, Matias Valdez, shares his learning experience of carelessly shopping online. 

“I shop online all the time so I should have known that something wasn’t right when all these cookies and viruses warnings kept coming up,” said Valdez. “I accidentally clicked on one of the pop up warnings but didn’t think anything of it and went on with checking out my shopping cart. It wasn’t until a few days later that I got a phone call from my bank wanting to talk to me about suspicious activity.”

After Valdez clicked on a pop up ad, he had no idea he was bugged and minutes later had debit card information stolen. 

“Luckily I didn’t go into debt because of this but there is a chance that I could have, it sucks that I have no other option but to be paranoid while shopping online,” says Valdez 

According to an article published by The Ascent, fool.com, reports claim that, “33 percent of millenials have faced credit card fraud” due to them being more likely to shop online and upload their credit card information without question. The Ascent’s statistics show that millennials do not take as much proper precaution as they should with their personal information and by posting it online. 

Being a college student is a grief within itself, now being a college student that has fallen into debt due to credit card fraud is disastrous. Cancel online shopping all together this holiday season and join the rest of the boomers in shopping malls, embracing the joys of good credit.

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