Phishing has been a common hacking method for over two decades now. You would think that everyone would already know how it works and how to avoid becoming a victim, right? Sadly, that is not the case for these Phishing Scam Tactics. There are more victims now than ever. In 2022, there were more than 300,000 victims in the US alone, with damages amounting to over $52 million!
The thing is that phishing scams have evolved over the years. Hackers are now more adept at hoodwinking unsuspecting victims, and they also have easy access to modern technology that helps elevate their phishing tactics.
Top 8 Phishing Scam Tactics
To protect your data and your business, you must build awareness of these scams at all levels of your organization. Here are the top 8 indicators of phishing scam tactics and what to do when you encounter them.
Upon getting an email from a trusted source, many people would open the email without a second thought. Hackers know this and use it for their Phishing Scam Tactics. They make the email look like it came from a reputable source by indicating a trusted sender name, although the email address is not correct. Before opening an email, check that the sender and the address are the same.
Sense of Urgency
Receiving a message that threatens to close your account or bring you legal action can easily cause you to freak out. Because of your panic, you could rashly click on the links as instructed in the email. Of course you would…you don’t want to be sued or go to jail! Stay calm when you receive such emails. Verify the information before taking action.
Malicious Links as a Phishing Scam Tactics
Malicious links are among the oldest phishing methods, but they are still very effective. Sometimes, these links appeal to a person’s natural curiosity, and at other times, they come with the promise of a reward. Either way, it led the unwitting victim to click the link or open the attachment. Again, always check before clicking.
Have you ever received an email from your bank or credit card provider asking for your password or other sensitive data about your account? Never! Legitimate companies do not ask for these kinds of data from clients. In case you get such a request, this is a phishing scam tactics so make sure to block and ignore it. They are almost certainly hackers trying to get into your account.
Misspellings and Poor Grammar
Although many hackers have sharpened their grammar skills by now, many phishing emails are still easily identifiable by wrongly spelled words and typographical errors. Yes, they make you cringe, but these emails can wreak serious havoc on your business. Therefore, you must not even reply or make grammatical corrections.
It sounds like a legit email if they address you by the correct name and position, right? Hackers are very resourceful. They can get their hands on publicly known information with little effort. They can also access so much more if you engage in their attempts. So before you take any action, make sure to verify the source of the message.
Fake URLs are used in Phishing Scam Tactics
Using fake website URLs is another phishing scam tactic with a very high success rate. Hackers send out emails that look like they came from a trusted source, like a service provider, containing a link to what looks like the actual page of the provider, and they will ask you to log in. Of course, thinking that you are at a legit site, you enter your login details, unknowingly giving them full access to your account.
If you suddenly receive an email out of nowhere that raises an alarm, be immediately wary because this is likely to be a scam. Do nothing they are asking you to do. Don’t even reply. Verify the source of the email to see if it is legit.
If anyone in your organization receives any form of these phishing scam tactics, encourage them to speak out so others will be doubly vigilant. If someone thinks someone has already hacked them, it’s not necessarily too late. There are things you can do to minimize the damage. We have outlined the steps in an infographic called “The Top 10 Steps to Take If You Think You Have Been Hacked”. You can download it by clicking right here.
To learn more about protecting your business from phishing scams and improving your company’s cybersecurity, call us. We will be happy to set you up for a free consultation!