You’ve received an inheritance. I need your bank account information to send you the money.”
The email sender looks like a legitimate company. Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because it most likely isn’t. This is a phishing scam in its most basic form.
As a best practice, it’s a good idea to double-check any suspicious emails that request sensitive information, like password resets or billing details. After all, that innocuous email could be a sophisticated phishing attempt or malware attack from cybercriminals.
What are phishing scams?
Phishing scams are when cybercriminals send fake emails while pretending to be legitimate companies or email senders. These scams try to get victims to share sensitive information, like passwords, financial information, or credit card details. In doing so, scammers simultaneously hurt their victims while damaging the reputations of legitimate brands.
Cybercriminals use phishing messages to:
- Learn your login details
- Steal your money and open bank accounts or credit cards under your name
- Make purchases
- Get cash advances
- Commit identity theft by stealing your social security number
- Sell your information to other parties who will use it for illicit or illegal purposes
There are specific types of phishing attacks, like spear-phishing (a more targeted version of phishing) and spoofing. In this article, we’ll go over
Why is phishing so rampant?
Phishing is such a lucrative livelihood for scammers because it works by playing to people’s basic instincts, like self-care and survival. In short, phishing relies on social engineering to engineer security threats that exploit vulnerabilities. And, with roughly 3.8 billion email users worldwide, it’s no surprise that phishers see email as an easy target. For them, it’s just a numbers game. The more people they try to scam, the higher the likelihood of their efforts being rewarded.
What are some types of phishing techniques?
Phishing sounds pretty rampant and quite scary, right? Right. Before we go over how to protect your brand from phishing attempts, let’s look at some common types of phishing emails:
The Login Scam: The hacker will ask you to log into an account via an insecure link. During this process, the scammer stores your login credentials to hack your real account.
The Fake Invoice Scam:This phishing email tries to gain access to your bank account by asking you for personal details. The scammer may use this information to steal your money or open bank accounts and credit cards under your name.
The Google Docs Scam: This one’s a bit tricky. The scammer pretends to send you a document from one of your contacts. You’re asked to click on the link to “open the Google Doc.” The hacker then uses this opening to install malware on your local device or steal sensitive data.
The Expiration Date Scam:This seedy scam uses a scare tactic: one Réunion Business Email List of your accounts or subscriptions is about to expire! You’re then asked to supply login credentials or bank details that the hacker will abuse.
The Friend or Government Scam:This phishing attempt relies on your trust in your friend or the government to trick you into revealing sensitive information, like your social security, login details, or bank account number. They might also ask you to send money to a friend in need or donate to a government cause.
How can phishing hurt my brand reputation?
While there’s a possibility you or a fellow employee might be the victim of a phishing scam, these attacks are actually more relevant to your business in that a scammer might pretend to be your business to scam others.
This type of phishing scam is called spoofing and involves the creation of fake emails that appear to come from a legitimate company that subscribers trust and expect to see in their inboxes. In short, scammers pretend to UAE Cell Number be you and target your subscribers to exploit them. You can see how this ends badly for both your subscribers and you. In fact, phishing scams both damage your brand reputation and lead to a decrease in email engagement. This is the exact opposite effect you want from your email marketing efforts!