DomainTools, a leading monitor of DNS (domain name system) based fraud, is predicting which “look alike” names will trick shoppers this month as Cyber Monday approaches.

The brands most likely to be spoofed correspond with the most popular online retailers, including Amazon, Argos and Tesco, DomainTools has found in a survey of around 1,000 UK consumers.

Using DomainTools PhishEye, DomainTools identified some of the most recent brand abusing domains created by attackers in an attempt to trick online shoppers, including the following:

Amazon Argos Tesco
amaznn[.]info argox[.]org tescouk-online[.]com
amazon.of[.]by[.]uk tescorx[.]com
amazo[.]nz agros[.]hu tescobanks[.]com

“Many of these illegitimate sites look virtually identical to the real thing,” said Tim Chen, CEO of DomainTools. “Looking closely at the URL can make a real difference for staying safe online. Online shoppers should heed these tactics to safely navigate links to Cyber Monday sales that are shared via email and social media.”

On Cyber Monday last year consumers spent approximately £1.9bn online in the UK, a 21 percent increase over 2015.

Email, in-app advertising and SMS campaigns are popular with big brands during the busiest shopping time of the year as a way to let consumers know about deals and the latest products, Chen said.

“The trouble is, cyber criminals take advantage of this form of communication by combining look-alike branding with a deceptive domain name. They’re able to reach a broad audience and it only takes a few unsuspecting consumers to result in a successful phishing or malware campaign.”

DomainTools offers to help protect firms against this brand abuse.

Using the DomainTools Brand Monitor, the company says, analysts can discover any new domain registration containing a particular brand or relevant keyword string.

And using DomainTools other software they can track changes and activity taking place on monitored IP addresses and servers as well as impending status changes of domain, it says.

DomainTools offers protection against the loss of revenue, brand reputation and consumer trust associated with online brand fraud, which it estimates costs companies over $1 Trillion worldwide annually.