Isolation during COVID-19 means that businesses have resorted to operating almost everything online with many employees working remotely. During this time of uncertainty, it is vital to stay vigilant of cyber-security risks. Fraudsters are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to enable various types of fraud and cyber-crime.
Email fraud ‘Phishing’
Email fraud is one of the most common types of fraud as it is easily done. Phishing refers to when fraudsters send false email messages requesting confidential information. During this time Fraudsters are sending out coronavirus themed phishing emails to trick people revealing personal information and financial details. These emails may be from could be from the Government asking for “research”. Common phishing emails might also be from HMRC, your bank, Apple and Amazon who claim that you need to click a link to change your password or a refund has been awarded and therefore they need your account details.
False emails may also be sent to staff claiming to be from a senior member of staff within the organisation such as a Director, CEO or Chairman etc. requesting an urgent payment. They will often say that the payment is needed for urgent cleaning or medical supplies to help with coronavirus. It is crucial that you report phishing scams so information can be tracked but it’s also crucial to report these phishing emails so we can beat fraud. Fraudsters will try and target as many people as they can, so if you report the phishing email it can prevented from spreading further.
Phone fraud (Vishing)
Vishing is the combination of voice and phishing. It is a phone scam where fraudsters target you by phone and try to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. Be alert to false calls linked to coronavirus as these could be from fraudsters who claim that they’re from the bank, the police, an IT company or an official health organisation.
Never reveal personal information until you have validated that the caller is a genuine representative of the organisation. If you are unsure about a phone and hesitate to give out information reassure them that you will call them back when you are ready. If they are genuine, they will understand and welcome your need to validate them.
Fraudsters may act as a creditor or supplier and tell you their company’s bank details have changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The communication will ask you for your account details and convince you to make all future payments to a new sort code and account number. To overcome this, it is important to be vigilant. Check and challenge any request to change account details. Contact suppliers and creditors independently to check the request is genuine, use contact details you already hold or that have been obtained independently rather than any included in the request. Once a payment has been made confirm with the intended beneficiary that it has been received.
For more information about the support available to help your business during the COVID-19 outbreak, contact Enterprise Hub on firstname.lastname@example.org