US Bank Phishing Scams

Key points

  • Small, medium and large businesses can be possible targets of phishing.
  • Hackers set traps with the most significant elements of your business
  • Americans lost over $57 million to phishing scams in 2019
  • Training employees is the most critical element in protecting your business from phishing

Have you received a phone call from an unknown number? Do you get emails from random addresses you don’t recognize? If this happened to you, you’re not alone. Individuals and small, medium, and large businesses are essential targets of phishing emails, calls, and messages designed to look like they come from legitimate financial institutions or government agencies.

You invest time, energy, and resources to keep your business running. But, when you become a target of phishing scams, it can hurt your organization’s functions and reputation. Fortunately, you can learn how to identify fraud and protect your business from becoming the next victim of phishing.

This article will explain how phishing works and how you can save your business from falling victim to phishing.

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How do Phishing Scams Work?

Phishing attacks have been on the rise and, unfortunately, more sophisticated than ever. Today, it’s uncommon for hackers to send hundreds of phishing emails, hoping that some of their targets will accidentally provide access to their business’s computer files. Instead, hackers have advanced their tactics and take time to make a phishing expedition that may trick you into their trap.

After all, hackers, like any business, are motivated by the same returns on investments. The attempt to break into your business files can be costly and time-consuming. However, a strategic phishing voyage can result in an organizational insider unsuspiciously opening the files—providing less hassle to the hacker.

In 2019 Americans lost over $57 million to phishing scams. Hackers manipulate the trust, creativity, efficiency, and commitment to the organization you like in your employees.

Although successful phishing emails take different forms, here are common aspects found in most successful phishing scams:

  • Familiarity—you’re are more likely to click an email from a source you recognize
  • Carrot or stick—anyone can be tempted by  an email that looks business promising
  • Urgency—creating a sense of urgency can allow the target to overlook their normal judgment for verification
  • Timing—phishing emails often target when you are busy and vulnerable to mistakes
  • Lack of awareness—employees with little knowledge to identify and understand phishing often fall, victim.
  • Intimidating and threatening—scammers tell you something terrible is about to happen to your business to trigger your reaction to the email.

What are the Common Types of Phishing in Business?

While emails and text messages are the most common phishing traps for individuals, hackers use various means to lure target businesses into their traps.

Company Impersonation

Attackers understand your value for efficiency in business operations. As a result, impersonating your brand with emails connected to a domain almost identical to the target company can trigger your reactions.

It’s a tricky attack you may not recognize or even suspect. Such emails bear an address similar to a brand you recognize, triggering you to react unsuspiciously.

Business Email Compromise

This occurs when attackers impersonate a CEO or another senior executive in a company and send an email to a junior employee. Typically, employees in the finance department are a primary target. These emails aim to get the target to transfer funds to a fake account.

This attack has made businesses lose billions of dollars to phishing attackers.

Clone Phishing

This trick attempts to take advantage of legitimate messages you may have already received to create a malicious replica of it. The attackers create a seemingly legitimate but malicious version and send an email from an address similar to the original sender’s. Links in the legitimate message are swapped out with the attacker’s link.

Most clone phishing emails use an excuse that the initial message lacked important information to lure the target to click the malicious links.

Smishing 

Commonly referred to as SMS phishing, this is a phishing trick that capitalizes on an organization’s texting habits and instant communication. When an employee receives a text from a senior executive requiring urgent reactions, clicking the link in the message is possible without confirmation.

Hackers understand the need for instant communication, luring users to download links containing URLs for them to click on.

How Can You Detect a Phishing Email?

Hackers understand that emails are a primary communication channel for many businesses. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent phishing emails. However, you can detect a malicious email in advance.

  • Emails sent from a public domain—legit organizations’ emails have a specific domain.
  • Grammatical errors—this is a common mistake made by many attackers
  • Requests for sensitive business or personal information
  • Emails from a government agency—government agencies rarely send emails to companies. Scammers can send emails impersonating the FBI or the IRS.

How to Protect Your Business from Phishing

Scammers are constantly advancing their attacking techniques. If your organization lacks essential tools to prevent being phishing victims, you risk financial loss and destroying your reputation to customers and stakeholders.

Proactive measures in cybersecurity can help protect your business from falling into hackers’ traps.

Verify Invoices and Payments

Scammers often pose as clients seeking payments. Your finance department can be tricked into honoring invoices from scammers.

Close-check your invoices, and make payments only after confirming the bill relates to the items delivered.

Develop a straightforward procedure for approving invoices and expenditures. Reducing the number of people authorized to process invoices and make payments can prevent costly mistakes.

In addition, be attentive to the means of payment the purporting client request. If a client asks for a wire transfer, gift card, or reloadable card, it’s possibly a scam.

Train Your Employees

Your best defense has a knowledgeable workforce. Training your employees across the board on various scammers’ tricks can save you many problems.

Create an enabling communication environment across departments. Many attackers target many employees in an organization to increase their chances. An effective communication environment allows employees to raise an alert about a possible scam.

Train your employees against sending sensitive business information and passwords by email, even when the email appears to come from an executive. In addition, establish a secure means for relaying sensitive company information between departments.

Be a Tech Savvy

Even the most seemingly legit websites and email addresses are easy to scam. The 2020 Twitter Hack portrayed how hackers can manipulate social media to deliver attacks on businesses. Hence, verifying an email address and website before you click on links is essential.

Secure Your Business from Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks can lead to significant financial and information loss to a business. Small, medium and large businesses are all prone to phishing. You can’t prevent potential phishing emails, calls, or messages. Fortunately, professional experts can help you protect your business from falling victim to phishing.

On-Site Computers Inc provides IT services and support to mature business professionals in Minnesota. We can help you establish strategic business continuity and disaster recovery plan and protect your business from cybersecurity threats. In addition, we can help you take care of cybersecurity issues while focusing on serving customers and expanding your business.

Contact us to start service.

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Mike Bowe | Published on November 28, 2022

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