When crises strikes, it is imperative to be as vigilant as possible. Crooks often try to take advantage of peoples’ fears in times of uncertainty in order to make a buck or two. If anything, the current pandemic of COVID-19 has proved that scamming attempts is on the rise; between credit card frauds, robocalls, or phishing attacks, one wonders what is next?
As scammers become more creative it is important to highlight the most common types of trending scams right now. As more and more people work from home, online activity is on the rise and the ones facing employment challenges have turned to government programs to seek assistance; all of this provides the perfect atmosphere for scammers to take advantage of individuals and businesses.
Here are some of the most common scams businesses and individuals have been facing more frequently recently:
Phishing is a type of attack often used to steal user data such as login credentials and credit card numbers. These types of attacks start with a scammer sending some sort of communication to the potential victim which could be an email, instant message, or a text message. Typically, the victim is tricked into clicking on a malicious link that would execute an unauthorized program onto the user’s device, which in turn would send confidential information to the attacker in the background without the user’s knowledge. Sometimes the provided links are a fake copy of the user’s bank account or email host and will request the user to input their login credentials.
Most recently, scammers have gone as far as pretending to be working for the Public Health Agency of Canada and stating something along the lines of “you’ve been exposed to COVID19, to ensure you are the right person, please confirm your health card numbers” then they will proceed to request credit card information to “mail prescription”.
Sometimes fraudsters will also impersonate your employees or your business emails in order to gain access to confidential data. These are highly targeted attacks and sometimes will look as if they are coming from one of your employees.
Fraud relating to government programs
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada was able to quickly offer a wide range of financial benefits which were geared at assisting individuals and businesses in overcoming the financial impact of COVID-19. As a result, scammers have taken advantage of the situation and flooded the market with these scams:
·URLs (website links) to counterfeit forms and websites that imitate the official Government of Canada websites in an attempt steal personal and financial information.
Untrustworthy businesses offering to assist in completing applicants for government programs
Identity theft where criminals use your personal information to register for government financial assistance.
Most businesses have strong cyber-crime prevention programs in the workplace to prevent any unauthorized breaches. However, as more workers move their workspace to home, these preventative measures have been weakened for one reason or another; most commonly when workers use work computers on their personal home networks which is shared with many other members of the household who are also on the same network. This presents many security challenges which could include:
Sensitive business information being transferred on less secure WiFi networks or even worse, being stored on personal devices.
Other devices on the same network could be compromised with malicious software which would undoubtedly put your organization’s devices at risk.
In the absence of your IT personnel, many workers fail to update their operating systems to patch any security vulnerabilities the older versions may have.
How Can Security Guard Group Assist You?
We provide full Risk Assessment Consultation (Learn More) which includes Cyber Security Assessment. We have partnered with a local expert in the IT security business and can provide recommendations directly from Cyber Security Professionals.