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Phishing scams present fertile ground to scammers looking to take advantage of the latest crisis or opportunity. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these types of scams are successful in nabbing nearly 250,000 victims per year.
In the following article, we look at the five biggest scams out there. Get on guard against these before they victimize your company!
1. Large Companies
One popular phishing attack that continues to fool users is when a scammer poses as a major company. The types of companies you use every day or week, we mean.
These are companies like Paypal, Amazon, and Facebook. They target people en masse because they know a lot of people shop at these locations or have an active account.
Once the user clicks a link in the email, it might take them to a dummy site that looks like the real thing. From there, they might enter their username and address, giving it directly to the scammer.
2. Government Agencies
Every year around tax time, you have to worry about the old tax relief cyber attack. Again, these are designed to steal information or retrieve payments intended for the IRS. They succeed due to the victim’s fear of the government.
Now that we’re all dealing with COVID-19, scammers are out to steal personal information as well. They do this by pretending to be the CDC in an effort to scare someone into clicking through.
3. Charitable Organizations
Another core part of cybercrime in 2021 is the phishing scam where the scammer pretends to represent a charitable organization. These often pick up around the holidays when consumers are feeling more generous toward those less fortunate.
However, executors of a phishing scam use goodwill and generosity to their advantage. Their goal is to get you to click on a link where you leave a generous donation (to them).
4. Phony Small Business Loans
One of the cybercrime stats on the rise is that of the phony small business loan. Under the CARES Act, the federal government has made funds available to small businesses in need. Scammers know this, and they are using the situation to their advantage.
5. COVID-19 Relief
Cybercrime risks surrounding COVID-19 are not only targeted at businesses. Individuals are also in the line of fire with many drawing unemployment benefits they can’t afford to lose.
That fear has given way to opportunities that scammers can take advantage of to steal personal financial data. You can avoid many of the COVID-19 scams by following this guide from the FCC.
What to Do About It
With so many ways to be scammed currently out there, you have to do an external attack surface reduction protocol as soon as possible. That means knowing all the areas where you’re vulnerable, not just within your organization but within the organizations of your third-party vendors and all the vendors they’re connected to as well.
A phishing scam in one body can affect every node that touches that body along the way. One of those nodes could be you, so watch how and who you do business with.
Phishing Scams Prey on Our Vulnerabilities
Phishing scams continue to be a threat to small, medium, and large businesses because they’re effective. They’re effective because they adapt to the times and easily wear the air of legitimacy.
Be on your best defense, particularly when it comes to email. For more cybersecurity tips and tricks, check out some of our additional posts!