Scam emails are one of the easiest ways for hackers and other nefarious players to gain access to sensitive data or finances. Individuals are most at risk, but even the most well-trained employees can fall into a carefully laid trap. Amid a worldwide pandemic, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the fact that the focus of businesses is elsewhere.
There are several signs that an email is a scam or trap. However, these four red flags are important for every business to recognize.
If you do not recognize the email address as legitimate, there is a good chance that you are dealing with a scam. The problem is, anybody with a rudimentary understanding of how email works can successfully spoof an email address so that it looks legitimate.
When it comes to customer or financial data, it is important to limit email access through secure filters. For instance, creating approved emails or groups will limit which mails get through to finance employees or departments.
The email body is usually a good indicator of whether the sender is trusted. Most scammers send out generic emails that are poorly crafted and use vague language. Most people have received texts claiming they are owed money from companies they have never used. This is the hit-or-miss style that scammers use.
However, the level of detail requested in a scam email is what should set off alarm bells. If you are asked to access a secure link to confirm security details via email, there is a good chance the link will lead to a cloned page. A cloned page will look like the official website page but is solely designed to collect sensitive information such as login details.
For the most part, scam emails are harmless unless the receiver performs certain actions – including clicking on links. Never take any link at face value. Like email addresses, links are easy to mask so that the recipient believes they are being directed to a legitimate page.
Most browsers will allow you to trace the true address of a link by hovering over it without clicking. You will see the url in the bottom left-hand corner of the browser. Many scammers use shortened urls so this method will not work. With that said, it is generally not advisable to follow a link from an email that cannot be verified as coming from a trusted source.
Not all scam emails are sent with the intention of capturing information. Viruses can be deployed via email attachments. Some hackers use this tactic purely to cause disruption for personal entertainment. In other cases, a virus can be deployed to cripple business critical systems and networks to bribe the business. This is known as ransomware.
ClubDrive can help you keep your IT systems secure from scammers and hackers. Call our offices today if you are concerned about the increased cyberthreat during the COVID-19 crisis. We offer affordable and effective IT management to businesses of all sizes.