‘Barbenheimer’ scam: Fraud pages offer bogus ‘Barbie,’ ‘Oppenheimer’ products

July 23, 2023 - 3:53 PM
1924
Photo shows a fraudulent website selling Barbie dolls to acquire sensitive information through its purchase form amid the film "Barbie's" popularity. (Kaspersky/Released)

A global cybersecurity and digital privacy company warned fans of new films “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” (Barbenheimer) against fraud schemes amid the popularity of the two, which shared launch dates last July 19, 2023.

RELATED: ‘Barbenheimer’ is real: How mall cinema chain is promoting two opposite films

The cybersecurity company Kaspersky discovered that phishing scams are at work online to acquire sensitive personal information and money, using Barbienheimer’s popularity as bait.

“Premieres and exciting events bring a wave of anticipation, but amidst the thrill, it’s crucial for users to remain alert and adhere to basic online safety rules. While the experience is exhilarating, we must not overlook the risks. By maintaining a vigilant mindset and practicing safe online habits, we can fully enjoy the ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ experience while safeguarding ourselves from cyber threats lurking in the digital world,” said Olga Svistunova, a security expert at Kaspersky.

Fraudulent websites were found selling Barbie dolls, but underneath the unsuspecting products are bogus sellers.

Buyers will be enticed to purchase limited-edition dolls, including one of the film’s lead star Margot Robbie for £12 or P844.33. Adding a helicopter accessory to the doll would amount to a price of £60 or P4,221.65.

(£1=P70.36)

The customers will be required to provide their name, address, phone number and banking information.

Not only will the scammers receive money, but sensitive data as well which they can sell to the Dark Web Market.

Another fraudulent website promises free “Oppenheimer” streaming, but proceeds to request a minimal registration fee, such as $1 (P54.74) or €1 (P60.92).

($1 =P54.73)

Fraudulent page offering the streaming of “Oppenheimer” (Kaspersky/Released)

However, paying this fee would require them to link their banking cards, allowing unauthorized debits which are difficult to cancel.

Similarly, Twitter users are reporting scammers selling Barbenheimer t-shirts using bots that are marked verified.

“Anything movie related is spammed with those t shirt scam links for Barbenheimer,” a Twitter user said.

“I want that Barbenheimer shirt I’ve been seeing on the TL, so bad, but I just know it’s a scam and I’ll never see that shirt,” another tweet read.

To avoid the scams, experts from Kaspersky recommend verifying websites and their security through checking the uniform resource locator (URL) before purchasing.

It must have a padlock symbol and the symbols “https://”. Otherwise, only purchase products from official online stores and share personal information like banking details to reliable sites.

Security solutions are also recommended, such as Kaspersky Premium, which can identify doubtful attachments and even block phishing sites.

READ: Love or hate Barbie? Main trailer for Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ just dropped | Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’: Rundown of star-studded cast