There has been a marked increase in the number of criminals exploiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to carry out fraud and cybercrime.
Any business could be targetted, but those in essential services should be particularly alert to such activities, and in the following article, we outline some of the different ways in which criminals may target an organisation.
? CEO Fraud
This type of fraud involves a fake email being sent to a staff member purporting to be from a legitimate supplier asking for future payments to be made to an alternative bank account.
Not only may that email look the same as previous emails received from that supplier (correct “from” name, identical logos, kitemarks, signatures, etc.) but the reasoning will inevitably make sense in the current climate.
Do not fall into the trap.
The email has been designed to trick you so be alert to this type of scam and always follow your company’s policies and procedures for such matters.
✅ Our Advice.
Firstly, check the email address matches with your records. If there is a discrepancy, this should raise a red flag.
Secondly; if in doubt, ring the company directly to confirm the email was from them and clarify the details before double-checking with internal colleagues.
? Procurement Fraud
There are a number of ways in which organisations can be defrauded.
The most common is to set up a website to sell items deemed vital, for example, personal protective equipment (PPE) (face masks and gloves).
The site may appear legitimate, however, when payment is made, either the products that arrive do not meet the required standard or the products do not arrive at all.
✅ Our Advice:
If you are using a new supplier for the first time, carry out due diligence to the best of your capacity to ensure the business is legitimate and discuss the purchase with senior colleagues if you’re unsure.
? ‘Phishing’ Emails
These are sophisticated fake emails that attempt to trick the target into doing what the scammer wants.
That might be handing over passwords to make it easier to hack a company, altering bank details so that payments go to fraudsters (see above) or tricking users into downloading and installing malware which enables the criminal to shut off all systems and hold the business to ransom.
✅ Our Advice:
Be vigilant. Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited messages or phone calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
We’ll keep updating you with regular hints and tips and remember, our team members are all working remotely and available to help with any IT problem your business or staff are facing.
Feel free to contact us during normal office hours on:
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