The phone rings. The caller ID says it’s your attorney’s office. When you answer, you are told you owe your attorney additional money and are directed to call a toll-free number. When you call the number, you are told how to pay the money owed to your attorney. Would you pay?
This scenario is just one of many recent spoofing and phishing scams playing out across the country. Spoofing occurs when the scammer makes a call or email appear as though it originated from somewhere else, while phishing occurs when the scammer tries to trick you into revealing sensitive information. As the scammers’ sophistication continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine whether the phone call or email you received is legitimate.
For example, one recent scam attempt involved an email from an organization’s CEO to its human resources and accounting departments asking for employee W2 information. These sort of scams are possible due to the plethora of publicly available information. Phishers are able to determine the key players in an organization and target them, using emails that appear as if they are coming from other employees.
Another scam being perpetrated is an email from your attorney asking you to look at the attached contract and fill in the applicable areas. The link contains a virus which can gives another individual control of your computer, access to your personal information, etc.
With the spoofing and phishing increasing in sophistication, what can you do to protect yourself and your company? Listed below are several tips to help you stay protected:
As phishers continue to increase their sophistication and abilities, individuals and companies need to continue increasing their security measures and knowledge.