Number of phishing sites in Taiwan skyrockets

Trend Micro Taiwan warns of localization of fast-evolving internet lures

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Experts warn of "localization" of phishing schemes. (Pixabay image)

Experts warn of "localization" of phishing schemes. (Pixabay image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese data security provider Trend Micro said Tuesday (Sept. 22) it has detected more than 170,000 phishing sites in the country as of August, including many that are themed around the coronavirus and face masks.

The company pointed out that the number of phishing sites this year is fourfold that of the same period last year. It also warned that a higher proportion of phishing attacks had been "localized" to lure victims into falling for their schemes.

Trend Micro said the top three types of internet scams in Taiwan are fake sticker downloads, investment ads, and shipping services. Recently, fake "Teacher's Day" stickers have been circulating on the messaging app Line as the holiday approaches, reported New Talk.

Trend Micro product marketing manager Chu Fang-wei (朱芳薇) stressed that localization and the fast-changing nature of cybercrimes make them difficult to detect. She said scammers often tailor their messages based on local holidays and upcoming events and even impersonate online personalities and government agencies.

The general manager of Trend Micro in Taiwan and Hong Kong, Bob Hung (洪偉淦), noted that the number of phishing scams has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He reminded Taiwanese to become more aware of cybersecurity to avoid falling prey to cybercrime, reported CNA.