Cyber Fraudsters, Hackers, Internet Criminals- Whatever you prefer to call them, they’re always coming up with new tricks to swindle unsuspecting businesses and people out of their hard earned money.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from Chase Bank saying to “update my account information” through clicking a link within the email. The email looked so convincing that if I actually had a Chase account, I might have fallen for this one. After submitting the suspicious email to Chase’s fraud reporting email address at firstname.lastname@example.org, they responded quickly and confirmed that it was fraudulent.
This type of scam is called phishing and as the FBI describes it, “a fraudster poses as a legitimate entity and uses e-mail and scam websites to obtain victims’ personal information, such as account numbers, user names, passwords, etc.” Because these fraudulent websites and emails can look shockingly similar to authentic ones, always be suspicious if you receive an email or text claiming there is a problem or question about any financial accounts you may have. It is always good practice to log into any accounts you may have through the official business website by typing the web address into the browser address bar rather than through a link provided by email.
Take a look at the situations below and make sure that you don’t fall for these emails when they appear in your inbox (call me a red-hot target but I’ve received all of these emails in the past month)–
- Emails From Banks or Financial Entities Asking For Account Information-
If you receive an email from a legitimate bank asking you to provide account information, be sure to call directly or type the web address in yourself rather than clicking a link within the email.
- Emails From Delivery Services (Like FedEx and DHL)-
According to the FBI, legitimate delivery service providers neither e-mail shippers regarding scheduled deliveries nor state when a package is intercepted or being temporarily held (FBI.gov). If you are concerned, call the delivery service directly.
- Emails From Airlines-
If you have not scheduled a flight with the emailing airline, delete and disregard the email. If you do have a flight scheduled with the emailing airline and they want you to provide your personal and financial account information, go directly to the official website by typing the web address in the browser address bar if you have actually scheduled a flight rather than through an email link.
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All of these situations could lead to a breach in financial information which can be debilitating to any person or business. Bottom Line? If you are cautious enough you can try to avoid falling for these cyber fraud attacks and email scams by logging into accounts directly through the business website instead of by clicking a link in an email.
If you are concerned about the risk of Cyber Security, contact Mackoul & Associates at (516) 431-9100 and ask how you can protect yourself or your business from Cyber Fraud.