Almost everyone has fallen victim to business email scams. These phishing emails look legitimate as scammers are posting as a reputable organisation. These messages will coax you into visiting a spoofed website or divulging private information. Once you provide your private information, the perpetrators will use it to commit identity theft. There are many types of email frauds, but they only have one sole mission: make easy money.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A BUSINESS EMAIL SCAM
These blackmail-type email threats must be reported because the scammers will be back for more if you give in to their demands. Even if you have done something illegal, taking matters into your own hands or dealing with the situation alone will not stop the blackmailer from devising another scheme.
Keep in mind that the blackmail originated from a hack. That said, power your hacked device down so they cannot be accessed remotely. Avoid reformatting your device until the authorities tell you it is okay to do so. Removing the hack will only destroy the evidence.
Change your passwords to ensure that the blackmailer will no longer have access to your personal accounts. Depending on your country, there are Internet Blackmail Laws that protect users from the attackers’ infuriating schemes.
This fishing net approach tricks the victim into taking the desired action such as sending money, sensitive information or login credentials. Some recipients will not immediately suspect that an email comes from a fraudulent source because they usually come from large corporations. If you are not keen on checking essential information such as the sender’s email address, you will surely act quickly and become a hapless victim to business email scams.
If you were convinced by their phishing schemes and you happen to provide your email address, these cyber criminals will use the information you provided to plot another scheme. You may wonder “what can a scammer do with my email address.” These scammers can use your email address in various ways. One disguised email can have a ripple effect.
How to identify a business email scam?
There are simple clues that indicate you are receiving an email scam.
- If you have noticed, most phishing emails do not address the recipient by their first name. The email will only use the term “customer” as an identifier. This is already considered as a red flag. If the email is really addressed to the recipient, it will include the recipient’s name.
- Grammatical errors are common in email scams. You will even notice that some sentences just do not make any sense. However, most people do not notice these errors because of scanning emails quickly.
- Attackers who make money scamming people will also encourage you to confirm your email by using the link they provide. Doing so will take you to a fraudulent website capable of injecting malicious code into your computer.
- At first glance, the sender’s email address looks legit as indicated on email domain. However, if you HOVER your mouse over the displayed email address, you will see the actual email address, which looks anything but legitimate.
These RED FLAGS may not be present especially if the email is sent by a smarter scammer. No more grammatical errors and the email address has been created in a more convincing manner, but this does not mean that you cannot do something to protect your account from these attackers.
It is important to know how phishing schemes are executed. Educating yourself how phishing works will minimise the instances of falling prey to these email predators.
If you do not notice anything fishy about the email, what else could go wrong? Sophisticated online internet fraud examples are difficult to identify unless you know the anatomy of these phishing schemes.
First, the attackers create a clone of a legitimate website. Then, using a credential-stealing script, the login page is changed. The modified files are bundled into a zip file, which will be used as a phishing kit. The files are unzipped once files are uploaded to the hacked website. The final step will involve sending emails with links directing you to the spoofed website.
Types of Email Fraud
If there is phishing (a fancy schmancy term for fishing) there is also pharming. It sends unsuspecting recipients to a spoofed website tricking them into believing that the website is legitimate. Victims are asked to click any malicious link. Once your computer is infected you will be pointed to a fake site even if you have entered the correct URL.
Scammers are going after reputable companies or people hence the term “whaling”. There is a considerable amount of time required to profile the target and find the perfect moment to attack. This will involve stealing login credentials.
These business email scams may appear to be harmless, but they can do more serious damage than you think. In the above example of an email scam, you will notice that the victim is coerced into taking the sender’s desired action otherwise, the sender will be forced to expose sensitive information. Victims who are threatened will nod along with whatever they are told to do.
This is where following good practices become necessary. Scanning infrastructure systems for malware is essential. Systems must be kept current by installing patches and updates.
It is also imperative that you conduct a full security audit so you will know what is sensitive data, where it is located and who has access. This can be done in 7 steps:
Step 1 – Identify Sensitive Information
Identity what is sensitive data and perform risk analysis.
Step 2 – Determine who should have access
Determine who should have access to (and who should not)
Step 3 – Conduct hardware Audit
Locate the organizations computers and storage media.
Step 4 – Conduct software Audit
Identity all software currently used on the organizations computers.
Step 5 – Conduct Network Audit
Test network security and identify any vulnerabilities.
Step 6 – Scan network and storage media to locate sensitive data
Search the organisations computers and storage media for sensitive data.
Step 7 – Review Audit and secure sensitive data accordingly
Ensure sensitive data is secure and access is restricted to authorized persons.