The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more time online and this is not lost on the huge numbers of criminals worldwide looking to exploit others. There are organized criminal gangs selling attack kits of all kinds- professionally done spam emails, hacking kits, remote control of unprotected PCs and more.
Technology is complicated and it can be hard to tell which messages are real and which are not. We have 5 key scams to look for to protect your computers and your business with advice from a trusted IT provider like ASIS who has been helping businesses stay safe for over 20 years. ASIS provides many layers of defense for your business to stay safe and monitor the network but user education is important as well.
Know What to Look For
Here is a sampling of some common scams:
#1- Fake Email Address
One of the first things to look for is the email address next to the name of the sender at the top of the email. If the message is supposed to be from Citibank but the email is email@example.com that is an easy tipoff that it is a fake message. Also check the end of the email so a Microsoft email has to come from a firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com. More sophisticated attackers will add extra or different letters such as replacing a 0 (zero) instead of an o such as micr0soft.com.
#2- Fake Call On the Phone
Microsoft or other tech vendors will not call you to tell you there is a virus on your computer. Also, be careful when calling vendor support because there are many fake support providers who will gladly take your money for a Quickbooks upgrade, for example, and connect in to put a bootleg version of Quickbooks and attack your PCs.
#3- Unexpected Pop Up on the Computer
Even if you have antivirus, there are compromised websites and ads which will pop up a message telling you that your computer has a virus and you need to call an 800#. Often they will have a loud beeping sound to make it more ominous and cause panic. The most important thing is to NOT call that 800#- contact a trusted IT provider like ASIS and we will clean it up.
#4- Your Account is Suspended or Password Must Be Changed, etc.
There are so many fake emails pretending to “help” you to re-activate a suspended account or change your password, but instead the link in the email will help steal your information. The best advise is not to click on the link but instead go directly to the website and log in there. For example, if it says your Microsoft Office password has expired, don’t click on the email, instead go to office.com and change it there or often it was fake and you don’t even need to change it at all.
#5 Fake calls for Gift Cards or Transferring Money
Business email compromise – pretending to be the owner of a company and sending emails to employees to transfer money- is costing businesses over $12 Billion dollars a year. Beware of any emails asking you to purchase gift cards or transfer money, even if it looks like it is coming from someone you know or work for. Always use another means to verify such as calling or texting or checking with IT support about the validity of the email.
How Can you Keep Your Business Safe?
ASIS offers many levels of security from firewalls, antivirus, anti-spam and anti-malware software that prevents hacks, scams and compromises. We offer 24×7 monitoring and maintenance to identify cybersecurity issues before they impact your business. Our proactive protection will also block a large number of the unwanted pop ups and unsolicited emails that can interfere with daily work.
ASIS offers a weekly training with 2 minute videos for employees showing ongoing scams and periodic test emails that train users who click on them why that is a fake email.
In addition, we’ve been trusted by businesses in NJ since 1999 so you can call us anytime 732.549.6030 you are unsure about these issues. We offer a free onsite consultation to get started.
ASIS, LLC 732.549.6030 Edison NJ
24×7 Cyber Security Monitoring – Cloud Computing – IT Support