What is Phishing? How to Help Prevent this Cyber Crime.
Phishing is a method of trying to gather personal or business information using deceptive e-mails, websites and other forms of communication. Here’s what you need to know about this increasingly sophisticated form of attack.
What really distinguishes phishing is the form the message takes. The attackers masquerade as a trusted entity of some kind, such as a real person, or a company the target victim might do business with. It’s one of the oldest types of cyberattacks, dating back to the 1990s.
The most common phishing attacks are attempts to trick you into providing details needed to access your bank account. For example, scammers might send out an attack email that instructs them to click on a link in order to rectify a discrepancy in their account. In actuality, the link leads to a fake banking login page that collects the user’s login credentials and delivers them to the attackers.
- Inspect all URLs carefully to see if they redirect to an unknown website.
Scammers will often take an official domain like ‘https://microsoft.com’ and change it to ‘http://microsoft.somethingelse.com’. It may look safe and familiar, but will direct you to the scammer’s website.
- Check the URL of any site asking for data to see that it is HTTPS-protected.
Any reputable website requesting data must have an SSL certificate, indicated with ‘https://’. SSL certificates are used to establish an encrypted connection between a browser or user’s computer and a website.
- Look out for generic salutations, grammar mistakes and spelling errors.
Scammers often try to disguise unsafe emails by changing it ever so slightly like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ to ‘email@example.com’.
- Be wary of emails that include alarming alerts or urgent deadlines.
Slow down! Scammers love to create a false sense of urgency in order for you to provide personal identifiable information and account details.
- If you’re ever asked to reconfirm banking or routing details…
Be sure to reach out to the company directly to confirm the request. It may take an extra step, but well worth it when you consider the alternative of exposing sensitive account information.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OPENFORCE
While wire requests do take place via email, they occur from the Client to the Openforce Account Manager on existing and already-established accounts. You should never receive a new, unsolicited request or re-request for a wire transfer from Openforce via email.
Furthermore, Openforce would never ask Clients to update any information on the fly or immediately. We will always allow at least 30 days for any kind of process changes, including wiring information. In those cases, we will additionally follow up with a verbal confirmation.