Recently, security experts have detected a Telegram based scam named Classiscam mainly initiated by Russian-speaking scammers. The Classiscam scheme has been taking advantage of Telegram bots that provide scammers with ready-to-use phishing pages under the name of popular marketplaces and delivery services to steal money and payment data.
The operation mainly started in Russia and was at its peak in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The scammers used fake ads using the name of well-known companies that promised to offer various products such as smart-phones, cameras, laptop, gaming items etc at minimal prices. To convert the deals, the scammers move the conversation to a third-party messaging service and use local phone numbers when speaking with the victim. The scam comprised around 40 groups of cybercriminals, operating in the U.S. and across several European countries such as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Poland, and Romania.
In the recent past, several incidents took place where cybercriminals misused Telegram for illegal activities like using it as a C&C channel for remotely controlled malware or for hosting bots. As a result, experts have advised the users to be extremely cautious while using the app or Telegram-based services and rely on official chats only. It is always better to avoid third-party messenger redirection.