Internet scams are nearly as old as the Internet itself, and unfortunately they will not disappear any time soon. The best way for frequent Internet users – especially working professionals – to combat scams is to become knowledgeable on the latest security breach fads and take appropriate preventative measures.
Two types of Internet scams that are increasingly becoming a cause for concern are phishing through business email compromise (BEC) and faux-Windows phone scams.
BEC, also known as CEO fraud, has been used to dupe companies out of millions of dollars. Cyber thieves initiate wire transfers via email when they phish executives and get access to their inbox or hide behind domains that are very similar to the company’s domain (e.g. company.com may be c0mpany.com). In such cases, employees receiving an email that they believe is from their boss will unknowingly send sensitive information to a fraudster.
In order to avoid this type of breach, we suggest that you always verify financial transactions via a trusted communication, such as a telephone call to the sender or recipient. It would also be wise for companies to not publish employee email addresses on their websites so that cyber thieves do not have access. Remember: email should never be considered a “secure” form of communication.
Windows Phone Scams
Another type of scam to be aware of is calls from fraudsters posing as Windows employees and demanding payment or personal information. Callers claiming to be from Windows Helpdesk, Windows Service Center, Microsoft Tech Support, etc. may try to convince you to download malicious software from websites or ask for your credit card information to charge you for “services.”
Microsoft and its affiliates make it very clear that they do not make unsolicited phone calls, so if you receive a call like this it is best to just hang up. Never give out personal information (such as credit card number, banking information, etc.) or purchase any software or services via phone. Visit Microsoft online to find out how to report a phone scam or to learn more about this type of scam.
If you have any questions about these types of scams or any other type of Internet scam, contact ICC and we will be happy to discuss this topic further.
August 20, 2015