New information about scam operation targeting MEA

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Global cybersecurity company Group-IB, in coordination with the UAE Cybersecurity Council, has confirmed the continuation of a major scam-as-a-service operation.

Classiscam is said to have been continuing its worldwide campaign well into 2023.


According to a blog published by the company, its analysts have witnessed how the automated scheme utilises Telegram bots.

These bots assist with the creation of phishing pages impersonating companies in a range of industries.

This includes online marketplaces, classified sites and logistics operators.

These phishing pages are said to steal money, payment data and bank login credentials from unsuspecting internet users.

“Fortifying global collaboration”

Over 61% of the Classiscam resources analysed by Group-IB experts that were created between H1 2021 and H1 2023 targeted users in Europe.

Other targeted regions were the Middle East and Africa (18.7%) and the Asia-Pacific region (12.2%).

With a strong technological focus, the UAE was no exception to the attacks in the Middle East.

However, the region has introduced a multifaceted approach to combat the rising threats, HE Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity, UAE Government confirmed.

“By fortifying global collaboration, encouraging Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), reinforcing cybersecurity measures, nurturing innovation and promoting a cyber-literate society, the UAE is actively remediating the impact of cyber-incidents,” HE added.

“As the nation propels forward with digital transformation, the emphasis on responsible digitisation remains paramount, ensuring a secure and thriving digital landscape”.

“One of the major global scam operations”

The average amount of money lost by Classiscam victims worldwide was $353.

Whilst users in APAC and MEA were less likely to fall victim to such schemes, when they did, they saw greater losses on average.

“Classiscam shows no sign of slowing down and the ranks of the Classiscammers are continuing to swell,” added Sharef Hlal, Head of the Digital Risk Protection Analytics Team (MEA), Group-IB.

“Over the past year, we have seen scam groups adopt a new, expanded hierarchy and roles within organisations are becoming increasingly specialised.

“Classiscam will likely remain one of the major global scam operations throughout 2023 due to the scheme’s full automation and low technical barrier of entry.”

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