A Deep Dive Into Phishing Scams

Phishing scams remain one of the most prevalent and successful types of cyberattacks today. This type of scam can be in the form of a fraudulent email, text, call, or other message that sounds 'reputable' but contains harmful links or a request for private / business information. You'd be surprised how many people and employees will respond to these messages and click on the links! It's therefore extremely crucial to be aware of the danger these scams pose to businesses. Your company could easily be the next victim if you don't clearly understand these types of threats.

In this blog, you'll learn the intent behind phishing emails, the various types of phishing attacks, and most importantly, how you can secure your email and business.

Purpose of Phishing Emails

The primary intent behind a phishing attack is to steal your money, data, or both. Cybercriminals use phishing emails to lure unsuspecting victims into taking actions that will affect business operations in this way. These kinds of actions include sharing passwords, revealing sensitive data, sending money, or downloading malware.

Financial theft The most common aim of a phishing attempt is to steal your money. Scammers use various tactics, such as business email compromise (BEC), to carry out fraudulent fund transfers or ransomware attacks to extort money.

Data theft This is where your data becomes gold to cybercriminals. It includes your usernames and passwords, personal identity information, and financial data such as credit card numbers or bank account information. Cybercriminals can use your login credentials to commit financial thefts or inject malware, and your sensitive data can be sold on the dark web for profit.

Be vigilant and look out for these phishing attempts:

  • Links – If an email asks you to click on a link, be wary. Scammers send out phishing emails with links containing malicious software that can steal your data and personal information.
  • Websites – If an email directs you to a website, be cautious. It could be a malicious website that can steal your personal information, such as your login credentials.
  • Attachments – If an email contains an attachment, be alert. Malicious extensions disguised to look like a document, invoice, or voicemail can infect your computer and steal your personal information.
  • Actions – If an email tries to rush you into taking an urgent action, such as transferring funds, be suspicious. Try to verify the authenticity of the request before taking any action.

Different Types Of Phishing

Phishing attacks are constantly evolving, so it’s important to be aware and acknowledge that any type of business can be a target for these attacks. While phishing emails are a common method used by cybercriminals, they also use texts, voice calls, and social media messaging.

Here are the different kinds of phishing traps that you should watch out for:

Spear Phishing Scammers send highly personalised emails targeting individuals or businesses to convince them to share sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card information. Spear phishing emails are also used for spreading infected malware.

Whaling A type of spear phishing, whale phishing or whaling is a scam targeting high-level executives where the perpetrators impersonate trusted sources or websites to steal information or money.

Smishing — An increasingly popular form of cyberattack, smishing uses text messages claiming to be from trusted sources to convince victims to share sensitive information or send money.

Vishing Cybercriminals use vishing or voice phishing to call victims while impersonating somebody from, for example, a bank or the victim’s office. The primary intent of voice phishing is to convince the victim to share sensitive personal information.

Business mail Compromise (BEC) A BEC is a spear phishing attack that uses a seemingly legitimate email address to trick the recipient, who is often a senior-level executive. The most common aim of a BEC scam is to convince an employee to send money to the cybercriminal while making them believe they are performing a legitimate, authorised business transaction.

Angler Phishing Also known as social media phishing, this type of scam primarily targets social media users. Cybercriminals with fake customer service accounts, tricking customers into revealing their sensitive information, including bank details. Scammers often target financial institutions and e-commerce businesses.

Brand Impersonation Also known as brand spoofing, brand impersonation is a type of phishing scam carried out using emails, texts, voice calls and social media messages. Cybercriminals impersonate a popular business to trick its customers into revealing sensitive information. While brand impersonation is targeted mainly at the customers, the incident can tarnish the brand image.

Strengthen Your Email Security

Emails are crucial for the success of your business. However, implementing email best practices and safety standards on your own can be challenging. That’s why we’re here to help! Essential Tech has the resources and tools to protect your business from cyberattacks; concentrate on your business, and we’ll take care of your security. Contact us!


"Your Guide To Email Safety"

Your Guide to Email Safety

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