We’ve all seen the email telling you a long-lost relative has passed away leaving you a fortune. All you need to do is provide your bank and personal information, pay a small fee, and you’re rich!
Of course, it’s an obvious scam, however, studies show that most of us are overconfident in our ability to detect phishing scams. Almost all phishing attacks start with an innocuous email, and hackers today are becoming much more sophisticated.
Phishing ranks as the second most expensive cause of data breaches. – IBM, Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021
Here are 10 signs to look for in 2022 that can help you detect a phishing scam!
- COVID-19 Information – Ever since the beginning of the COVID pandemic through to the return to normalcy hackers have been scamming people out of personal information through COVID-related hoaxes. Watch for subject lines promoting vaccine requirements or registration information.
- Unexpected Attachments – Never open an attachment you were not expecting, even if it’s from someone you know. This is a typical tactic for phishing scams.
- Inconsistent URLs – If a web address within an email is different when you hover over it, it’s likely an attempt to hack your system.
- Action Required Scams – Emails claiming you need to update your account or password are a classic scam attempt to gain personal information. Most legitimate companies never request login or personal information or via email!
- Misspellings or Poor Grammar – An email riddled with obvious grammar and spelling mistakes should raise a red flag. The email is probably a phishing scam.
- Something is “Strange” – If you often receive emails from a certain company, and they suddenly show up looking different such as a change in formatting or logos, be careful, it could be a phishing scam.
- W2 / 1099 Requests – Phishing is prevalent around tax time. These emails often look like they come from your HR department, or a high-level executive.
- An Email from Your Company CEO – Hackers are becoming masterful at researching high-level personnel and impersonating them. Never release information, or funds without verification!
- You Won! – If you didn’t enter a contest, you probably didn’t win! Scam alert!
- Desperate Emails – When a random email arrives with a sense of urgency saying your “immediate action” is required it’s often a sign something is up. Log into your account from a separate browser, not from an email link.
Educate your team to recognize the signs. If you receive an email that looks suspicious, don’t open it! Never click or download attachments, don’t reply, and inform your IT department right away.
Here at Allied we have the security expertise to keep your business protected against scams and phishing attempts like those above. Give us a call for your free IT risk assessment. We have the solutions to keep your business safe in 2022!