BrandShield detected 281 profiles impersonating Zelenskyy
News | 06.04.2022
Since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, we've identified a major spike in profiles impersonating Zelenskyy,
"During our last scan, we detected 45 impersonators on Facebook, 39 on Twitter, 20 on Instagram, 22 on Telegram, and 155 on VK, the Russian social media platform," Keren said in an email.
Social media scams are fairly easy to pull off, as anyone can create a fake profile online. Even as there has been a push for the social platforms to do more to policing such content, a large number of fakes and scams can go undetected.
"Between impersonations of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on social media, hacks distributing fake messages from Zelensky, and website impersonations and typo-squatting attacks on Privatbank, Ukraine's biggest bank, we're seeing a broad mix of fake online profiles as well as scammers looking to capitalize off the crisis," Keren added. "During periods of peace, cybercrime is a genuine risk to average consumers and companies and organizations looking to protect their reputation; however, during times of conflict, cyberattacks pose an even greater threat, both physically and financially, to those who are already being battered by war."
Social media also continues to be used to spread misinformation and even disinformation, so there has been no shortage of either on the platforms. At this point, one might also expect to hear that Zelenskyy is the lovechild of Elvis Presley or that he is the mysterious Q.
"The latest incident involving Russian hackers spreading fake news of a Zelenskyy'surrender' is just the latest example of the bigger misinformation campaign targeted at the Ukraine, and we've found countless other imposters pretending to be Zelenskyyasking for donations to support humanitarian relief efforts in the region. We even detected a fake cryptocurrency called 'Zelensky' among other crypto scams," warned Keren.
During such chaotic times people often see the calls for help, but don't realize they're just sending money to scammers.
"To stay protected, you need to be vigilant and make sure that charities are carefully vetted and recognized by international organizations," added Keren. "Only donate directly through the charity’s website and never donate through an ad or social media post. Don't entertain requests for donations that involve gift cards and be sure to never share personal information or financial information with unknown people who are reaching out to you through phishing emails and texts."