Google blocked more than 18 million COVID-19 phishing emails daily, in one week. Cyber criminals are becoming more clever in their attempts to lure people in clicking and opening attachments. We get a ton of calls about computers and phones that have been compromised or hacked. Most people have no idea how it happened. You may be familiar with the recent COVID-19 concerns where individuals have been receiving fake stimulus checks. Spam and Phishing is a common tactic used by hackers. It requires the least amount of effort and is most successful when targeting less cyber-aware users . According to the FBI, in 2019 more than $1.75 billion was lost to business email scams. It's also the most common way organizations are exposed to ransomware. Phishing can be in many forms, such as: emails, phone calls, applications, and etc… Everyone needs to know what hackers are trying to do and how to stop the vicious tactics these criminals are deploying. We will break down the different types of attacks and how to prevent them. What is this? Spam: Unsolicited, unwanted , bulk mail found in the junk folder. Phishing: spam that tricks you into providing personal information. Spear Phishing: Spam tailored to a certain individual Malware: Software used to cause damage to a computer,server,network Adware: A form of malware, that hides on your computer serves constant popups advertisements Ransomware:A type of malware, that threatens to block a user access or sell their information. How does this happen? A hacker may contact you, to inform you, that something is wrong with your account or your device. Have you ever visited a website and a message pop up on the screen, telling you to click on a link to download flash player or some other software ? Or maybe you received an email stating your account has been hacked. The process to regain access to your account, requires you to click on a link and provide your personal information. Many of these tactics are used to get your personal and financial information. Other attacks are used to infect your computer with malware and viruses that threaten to lock your computer; if you do not pay a specific fee within a certain amount of time. The information you provide the cyber criminals could be sold on the black market or used for fraud or identity theft. Phishing is another kind of spam that tricks you into providing information like: your debit card, user name and passwords. It is sent out to a mass amount of recipients that are less likely to click on the links. For ex:
Spear Phishing is a more targeted tactic. It is designed to get a response from the recipient. Criminals will select a specific individual within an organization. They may use social media and other public information to curate a tailored email or phone call for that person.
For ex: My mom was searching on a website for unclaimed property or money. She received a communication from a bank stating she had a million dollars in an IRA account that was owned by her late husband. His account was in the United Kingdom. To receive the funds, she had to pay the taxes on it. A representative called my mom offering to guide her through signing into her account and transferring the money over. The website appeared to be real. It had her account information, the amount available, amount she was able to transfer, and other legit looking information. Only problem was, when she attempted to transfer the money, she was stopped by an error on the website that required her to call her bank and get her routing number, account number, and a bank code. From that point she could transfer $25 out of the million.
So, she contacted the rep at the bank. He told her that she would have to contact her attorney because he had to release the funds. Their attorney contacted her back and stated that the money was ready, but they had issues transferring it because the years it was in the account and accumulating fees. and She would need to pay more money to have it wired to the US. This story goes on for 2 years, I can write a book on the entire process and all the stories they gave us. But this article is not about me. We want to help people understand how the scams are circulating around and how genius these criminals have become. My mom was a victim and everyone that gave her money was a victim. Some of you may even get emails at work, that appear from your boss. The email is sad and always requesting money for something. Maybe, you are searching for rental homes and the criminal thief told you he was living in another state and he wants to find someone to take care of his property. It’s a beautiful home and move in ready, all you have to do is send the deposit and he will send the keys, fill out the application and no credit check. Whatever the attack, you can see how clever these crooks can be. Apple is number 1 when it comes to being the most imitated company for phishing scams. We have seen on our customers computers sites that look exactly like Apple’s. It can be hard to distinguish the real site from the malicious site. What can I do? To avoid these phishing attempts: *Do not click on links or attachments from senders you do not recognize.
*Do not provide your personal information like, username, passwords,social security number.
*Check the senders email for any suspicious addresses.
*Do not open any shared document that you are not expecting to receive.
*Inspect URLs and Domain names.
*If you receive a phone call from an unrecognized number , try to Google search the phone number. Most cases, you will find information from other people that confirm the scam call.
*If you receive an email with banners and ads do not open it.
*If the email is about a package, purchase, or account issue do not click on the link, unless you can verify that you initiated the prompt.
*Keep your software update. Although, updates can be annoying, they are consistently sent out to address security concerns.
*Change your passwords often. At least every 3 months or so or make a strong password with at least 12 characters.
*If a person emails or chats you on social media for a business opportunity and you did not contact them, do not provide any personal or financial information.
*When in doubt call contact the person or company directly.
*Be weary of phone numbers you may find online. To get the companies number visit an official site directly, for example Apple.com or check a bill or statement.
*Use mail filters to minimize the amount of spam you may receive. Report the spam.
*Hide your personal email from online and social media, if you can. Have questions or concerns? We are here for you. We will support you and help you make the right decisions. Ways to contact us:
Text: 912-250-6800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.goteksus.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goteksusa /Instagram: @goteks_us If you believe your computer may be infected with viruses or malware click here for a free scan. Provide us with your name,email, and date and time you would like the scan.
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Have a business and not sure if your safe download our free checklist here. Other sites you can report to: How do I deal with spam on Facebook? Youtube Spam, deceptive practices & scams policies Phishing Scams|Federal Trade Commission