Beware of Email Scammers
Despite spam filters, captchas and security patches, thousands of reputable businesses fall prey to clever email scammers every year — resulting in billions of dollars of lost time, productivity and revenue.
Even the smartest individuals often become victims to a scammer’s complex hacking methods. Protect your business from email scammers by understanding how these scams work and learning how to prevent future attacks.
Scammers use many techniques to trick companies into paying them money or inadvertently sending them intellectual property valuable for future schemes. One of the more popular scams involves someone pretending to be an executive or supplier requesting a tax form, a W-2 or other company or employee information.
Some scammers go as far as to mimic a lawyer, claiming that an urgent issue affects your company’s legal operations, and that they need confidential information and payments to quickly resolve the issue. When scammers disguise themselves as trusted colleagues, reality becomes harder to decipher. One of the toughest scams to recognize involves scammers hacking into someone’s email account, and then sending out innocuous looking emails to their address book. Essentially, an attachment your friend or colleague sends you may be a link to malware, a virus or spyware. Fortunately, many of these emails give away clues that allow you to recognize that they are fake — but these are very subtle and take a trained eye to spot.
Following this simple step ensures the safety of your company’s privacy. Instead of using standard one-step verification processes for fund transfers, online payments or email access, utilize a two-step verification process to minimize and often eliminate a hacker’s chances to intercept your communication. Arrange face-to-face meetings for important discussions regarding payments, confidential information or other items you want to keep within the company.
Scammers not only imitate your colleagues and suppliers by hacking their emails, but also by creating very similar emails. For example, a scammer mimics your business partner’s email, John@YourBusiness.com as John@YourBusiness.net. To the untrained eye, the email seems legitimate. Look closely at every email, especially if the email requests something out of the ordinary. To keep your email account even safer, set up an email rule that flags emails where the Reply address and the From address differ.
If financially viable, register all domains similar to your company’s domain. For example, adding YourBusiness.net and YourBusiness.xyz helps protect YourBusiness.com from scammers attempting to imitate the company.