Cybercriminals are weaponizing the coronavirus crisis by launching viruses of their own. Phishing attacks were up 667% in March alone. It's more important than ever to train your employees and conduct phishing tests during this time of upheaval and record numbers of employees working from home.
Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or credit card details. These scams are typically executed by email or instant message. They often direct their targets to enter personal information at a fake website that looks like a legitimate site.
Employees must be more diligent than ever to protect their personal information as well as confidential company information.
Here are some tools to help you spot potential scam emails.
What to look for
- Emails that use phrases such as “use this link to download safety measures”
- Links located within the email with phrases like “see the latest cases near you”
- Sender email address is not one you recognize
- Requests to send or transfer money – especially wire transfers
Tips to avoid infected emails
- Beware of online requests for personal information. A coronavirus-themed email that seeks personal information like your Social Security Number or computer login information is a phishing scam. Legitimate government agencies won’t ask for that information. Don’t respond to the email with your personal data.
- Check the email address or link. You can inspect a link by hovering your mouse over the URL to see where it leads. Sometimes, it’s obvious the web address is not legitimate. But keep in mind scammers can create links that closely resemble legitimate addresses. Delete the email.
- Watch for spelling and grammatical mistakes. If an email includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, it’s likely a sign you’ve received a phishing email. Delete it.
- Look for generic greetings. Phishing emails are unlikely to use your name. Greetings like “Dear sir or madam” signal an email is not legitimate.
- Avoid emails that insist you act now. Phishing emails often try to create a sense of urgency or demand immediate action. The goal is to get you to click on a link and provide personal information — right now. Instead, delete the message.
If you see something suspicious, please contact us. AM Data Service will perform security checks to ensure emails and links are legitimate.